Item 5.4 on the Tuesday, February 7, 2017 city council agenda was posted as:
That the City Manager be authorized to sign an Advertising Service Agreement by and between the City of El Paso and The Laster Group, Inc. dba Culture Span Marketing a Texas company, to conduct an advertising campaign to attract public attention to the El Paso Quality of Life projects and projects associated with improving the quality of life of the citizens of the City of El Paso, for an amount not to exceed Two Hundred Twenty-One Thousand One Hundred Sixty Dollars ($221,160.00).
Someone evidently feels that the taxpayers need some education.
Some of the members of city council will stand for re-election this May and probably think that some advertising could help their chances for re-election.
We doubt that the campaign will draw public attention to the cost of the projects.
Spending a quarter of a million dollars to help their campaigns is shameful.
Once again the city seems to be trying to stretch the rules.
From what we can see the contract was not put out to competitive bid. The agenda posting included this note:
This is a purchase pursuant to the General Exemptions advertising, other than legal notices, Section 252.022(a) (16) under Chapter 252 of the Texas Local Government Code.
Section 252.022(a)(16) exempts advertising from the state’s competitive bidding requirements.
This contract was for advertising services–deciding what advertising to do, not advertising itself.
We deserve better