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News in Brief: A summary of developments across Los
Angeles County | Community News File / Los Angeles

Airport Parking Contract Rejected

July 23, 1998

In a move that surprised some observers, a key Los Angeles City Council panel rejected a multimillion-dollar airport parking contract Wednesday that had been awarded by the city's airport commissioners.

The Commerce, Energy and Natural Resources Committee will ask the full council next week to send the entire matter back to the Airport Commission for rebidding. Lawmakers expressed concerns about the original bidding process and whether concessions were made to Five Star Parking, which won the commission's support.

The commission has twice upheld its support for Five Star Parking to run the airport lots at Los Angeles International, Van Nuys and Ontario.

But council members, including John Ferraro, Ruth Galanter and Rudy Svorinich, have raised concerns over the process, alleging that other companies were not allowed to change their documents once they were submitted--as they said Five Star was.

Still, few of the lobbyists, lawyers and parking officials from competing companies who packed the committee room expected lawmakers to seek a new bidding process.

"This is not about sour grapes," said Howard Sunkin, a lobbyist representing Parking Concepts, a competing firm, who urged the panel to disqualify Five Star or rebid the contracts. "This is about creating a level playing field."

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