Councilmember George Boehme has decided that Edloe Street Café and Deli or Edloe Café Express will no longer do catering for the city of West University Place.
During a city council special session on July 19, Mayor Bob Kelly said the city is seen in a negative light for having Edloe Street Café and Deli as the concessionaire for Colonial Park Pool. He told council that he hoped staff would reach out to other vendors when choosing a caterer for city events.
Kelly made his comments during a city council special session discussion about the consumption and sales of alcohol at the recreation center for the Harris County Mayors and Councils Association meeting on Aug. 19. The ordinance to allow the consumption and sales of alcohol for the event at the rec center was approved. Edloe Café Express was chosen as the caterer for that event.
Kelly said he thought other vendors should have been considered for the Harris County Mayors and Councils Association meeting.
“We came under criticism about Edloe Deli being the concessionaire at Colonial Park,” Kelly said during the July 19 special session. “Edloe Deli is not the sole concessionaire for the entire city.”
The city receives 28 percent of the gross receipts from the concession at Colonial Park Pool. Kelly said the city should see if other businesses would be willing to give the city 28 percent for their services.
West U City Council unanimously approved Edloe Street Café’ and Deli as the concessionaire for Colonial Park Pool during its April 12 meeting. Edloe Street Café’ and Deli was the only business to bid on the Colonial Park concessionaire contract.
“We didn’t talk to Little Matt’s; we didn’t talk to Tiny Boxwood,” Kelly said in regards to the Aug. 19 event. “I’m concerned with how West U citizens are perceiving us.”
City Manager Michael Ross said the city uses their concessionaires if they meet the needs of the city and does not use Edloe Street Café’ and Deli for everything.
“We need to broaden the field because that’s where we got criticism before,” Kelly said. “With a council members business involved, it looks better.”
This discussion and what followed in the comments section of InstantNewsWestU, has led to Boehme’s decision to no longer cater for the city of West U. To read the July 19 city council story click here.
“The Mayor has created a situation where it is uncomfortable,” Boehme said. “I think it was terribly irresponsible to make comments without the facts.”
“Our decision evolves from Mayor Kelly’s recent erroneous statements like, ‘My (Kelly’s) concern is continuing to use a Councilman’s business for City functions to the exclusion of others without giving others a chance to make us an offer,’” Boehme said.
Boehme said Mayor Kelly created an “illusion of impropriety” that Edloe Street Café and Deli or Edloe Café Express is getting all the catering jobs while other vendors are not.
Boehme said he has done less catering while he has been a member of council than before he was on council.
“There are as many as a half-dozen restaurants that have provided more catering to West U since I have been on the city council, and I believe each of those is located outside West University Place,” he said.
Boehme said the Mayor encouraged Edloe Street Café and Deli to bid on the Colonial Park Pool concessionaire and if he had showed any concern they wouldn’t have bid.
“The Mayor said things that weren’t true,” Boehme said. “We’re just not going to do it.”
When asked for his comment on Edloe Street Café and Deli no longer catering for the city, Mayor Kelly sent InstantNewsWestU this response:
“I stand by my concern of a business, Edloe Deli, owned by a Council Member being selected by staff as the food vendor for the upcoming Harris Council Mayor Council dinner without asking other food vendors to consider the work. That Edloe Deli was so selected is a fact and was no fabrication.
The reason it was my opinion that other food vendors should have been asked to consider the work was not that there was any legal requirement to do so, but instead to more than make sure that there was no perception that the City was showing any favoritism to a business owned by a Council Member. This is of course holding Edloe Deli to a higher standard then that of other food vendors, but it is my opinion that when a Council Member (including the Mayor)