Angela Hunt, revealed in last week's Observer as the swing vote on the controversial concession contract extensions at Dallas Love Field Airport, has continued to research the issue following her maternity leave, but she hasn't made up her mind yet and now supports a deferral of the items until August, as DMN'er Rudy Bush reported yesterday afternoon.
"Frankly, based on your article, discussions with staff and talking with the mayor, there are some facts that I need to ferret out, so I really want to understand the facts before I make a decision," Hunt tells Unfair Park.
Hunt refuses to discuss the questionable facts in detail, but she adds that she wants to evaluate how other airports have utilized the bidding process compared to negotiating concession contracts. After meeting with Mayor Tom Leppert, who opposes the extensions, Hunt says Assistant City Manager A.C. Gonzalez was able to give her a better understanding of why city staff supports them.
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"We still have an 8-7 split whichever way it goes," she says. "I'd like to see if we can change that. But, more important, I want to make sure that I have the best information to make a decision on what's best for Love Field and Dallas taxpayers."
In previous meetings, Gonzalez had expressed city staff's desire to get the issue resolved before the council's July recess, but Hunt says Gonzalez told her that a deferral of tomorrow's highly anticipated votes won't be a problem. The original April 28 votes were postponed so an ad hoc committee could evaluate the contracts, and Hunt says she's unsure of when the council will vote on the item if she's able to garner enough support to force a second delay.
Hunt's optimistic that she has the support for another postponement, citing the council's preference to allow colleagues more time when they request additional information about an item.
"I've talked to folks on both sides of the issue, and I think they'll be supportive," she says. "I can't speak for my colleagues. I can only speak for myself, but I think they'll be understanding of my desire to defer the vote."