Grill decision was well done

Congratulations to members of the Grand Junction City Council. They evidently recognized the horrible message they would send if they booted a private contractor from food-service operations at two municipal golf courses in favor of a city-owned operation.

That’s especially true since there was no clear financial advantage for the city entity that runs Two Rivers Convention Center assuming food operations at Tiara Rado and Lincoln Park.

The council’s unanimous decision Wednesday to have the city reconsider bids for the food service — and leave the Two Rivers group out of the equation — doesn’t guarantee that current contractor Steve Hoefer and his team will continue to operate the Pi&#241on Grill at Tiara Rado and the snack bar at Lincoln Park. One other private entity submitted a bid for the food service contract.

But it does mean that the private entities will be competing against each other on similar terms, and not against a city-owned entity that — based on council comments Wednesday — offered only vague estimates for employment costs.

More importantly, the initial staff recommendations to the council made it sound as if protecting city jobs was somehow more important than preserving private jobs. And the push for the city to take over food service operations, despite no great public dissatisfaction with the current operators and no clear financial advantage to city citizens, appeared self-serving, to say the least.

The City Council’s decision to order a new bid process for the food service, sans Two Rivers’ involvement, was a job well done.


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