Updated: West U Mayor Concerned About Criticism Of City’s Concessionaire Choice
West University Place will be serving alcohol at the recreation center on Aug. 19 during the Harris County Mayors and Councils Association meeting.
Council approved three-to-one a resolution authorizing the consumption and sales of alcohol during their regular meeting, following an earlier special session discussion Monday night.
Mayor Bob Kelly, Mayor Pro Tem Bob Fry and Councilmember Chuck Guffey voted in favor of the resolution. Councilmember Steven Segal voted against the resolution. Councilmember George Boehme abstained from voting.
Fry said the Harris County Mayors and Councils Association meeting is held every month and is typically held at a restaurant. West U is hosting the August meeting and he thought it would be a good idea to have it at the new rec center.
The catered event would be cheaper than holding it at a restaurant and would be an opportunity for the city to showcase their new center, Fry said.
“We have excellent facilities and that’s something we want to advertise,” Guffey said.
The waiver for the ordinance would only allow the consumption and sales of alcohol for the Aug. 19 meeting. It would not include any other city building.
City Manager Michael Ross said the food and beverages would be donated and planners were thinking of having a Mexican dinner theme, including enchiladas, beer, wine and wine-based margaritas.
Ross told council that he preferred not to disclose who would be donating the food for the event until after it was finalized.
Kelly told council the city was seen in a negative light for Edloe Street Café’ and Deli as their concessionaire for Colonial Park Pool and he hoped they would reach out to other vendors for the Aug. 19 event.
West U City Council approved Edloe Street Café’ and Deli as the concessionaire for Colonial Park Pool during its April 12 meeting. Edloe Street Café’ and Deli, owned by Councilmember George Boehme, was the only business to bid on the Colonial Park concessionaire contract.
To avoid any possible conflict of interest, Boehme left the council chambers during the discussion about Edloe Street Café’ and Deli and abstained from voting on the alcohol waiver during the regular session.
“We came under criticism about Edloe Deli being the concessionaire at Colonial Park,” Kelly said. “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.
“We didn’t talk to Little Matt’s; we didn’t talk to Tiny Boxwood,” Kelly said. “I’m concerned with how West U citizens are perceiving us.”
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.”