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HAPEVILLE | Reed releases names of concessions panel members

ATLANTA - Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has released the names of fifteen people who served on an Airport Concessions Evaluations Panel. It's the first time an Atlanta Mayor has shared this type of information, the Mayor's Office said.

RELATED | Mayor Reed lashes out at critics of airport concession contracts
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"I directed my administration to run an open, ethical and fair concessions procurement process for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and the new Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal," Mayor Reed said in a statement emailed to 11Alive News. "The release of the names of the evaluation committee members is one of several steps we took over the past year to move the city toward greater transparency around the city's procurement process."

The following people served on the panel:

  • Patricia Armes - Concessions Accounting Manager
  • Paul Brown - Concessions Director
  • Shelley Lamar - Planning Manager
  • Paul Michael Leaf Jr. - Principal Architect
  • Robert Lewis III - Concessions Compliance Manager
  • William Murphy - Land & Property Utilization Manager
  • Robert Palmer - Director of Maintenance
  • Willie Self - Senior Audit Manager
  • David Sellers - Director of Properties
  • Douglas Strachan - Creative Innovations Manager
  • Hugh Jason Terreri - Airport Contract Administrator
  • David Vogt - Art Program Manager
  • Harland Chris Warner - Operations Manager
  • Chiquetta West - Management Analyst
  • Demetria Wideman - Concession Marketing Manager

In the emailed statement, Mayor Reed outlined several things his administration has done to ensure transparency in the concessions awarding process:

    • Hiring the aviation general manager at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport by appointing a panel of nine well-respected business leaders, led by Home Depot Chief Financial Officer Carol Tomé, to review and recommend candidates for the position. This process was a first for the city.
    • Disclosing the airport's financials to its airline tenants, most notably Delta Air Lines, for the first time ever. This resulted in a $30 million contribution to the city's bond financing efforts for the completion of the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal.
    • Hosting a full day pre-proposal conference to provide information about the RFP process with the public and making the RFP documents available to the public. More than 500 people attended the event, at which city and airport officials from various departments discussed the program's goals, structure and timeline.
    • Returning contributions to Mayor Reed from airport vendors made during the procurement process from March 21 to June 30, 2011.
    • Refusing to accept contributions to Mayor Reed from airport vendors while the procurement was in progress.

A debate over concessions contracts at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport between Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and William Perry of Common Cause Georgia got heated and personal at times Wednesday night on 11Alive's Daily 11@7.

During the debate, Reed questioned Perry's motivations in making allegations that concessions contracts at the airport were not transparent.

"He is a hypocrite," Reed said of Perry. "You cannot complain about behavior that you engaged in when you ran for the school board, you ran for the city council, failed, and now try to build your political career trying to damage the City of Atlanta."

"Mr. Perry is a person who ran for the city council and lost, ran for the school board and lost," Reed said. "I do not appreciate the way he has targeted the City of Atlanta."

Perry said the Mayor's remarks only served to distract from the real issue at stake. "We're focusing on pay-to-play and this reform effort and how large political contributions are affecting the process," Perry said.

"I'm incredibly disappointed that this has gotten personal," Perry added.

Tuesday night, the Atlanta City Council voted to approve contracts for new concessions at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The measure passed by a vote of 12 to 3.

RELATED | Atlanta council passes airport concessions contracts

The city's aviation department is estimated to receive more than $51 million per year from gross food and beverage sales from the contracts, which coincide with the May opening of a new international terminal. Critics, including Perry's Common Cause Georgia organization, wanted more vetting of the process and bidders.

The contracts cover operating rights for 150 restaurant, bar and retail locations at Atlanta's airport. The Varsity, Shane's Rib Shack, Willy's Mexicana Grill and Sweet Georgia's Juke Joint are among the new brands that winners of the contracts will introduce to the airport.

Critics wanted the vote delayed by a week or two because they said some of those concessionaires funneled money to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed's campaign.

But, Mayor Reed said he had nothing to do with selecting the winning contracts, that the move was only good for Atlanta's airport. He also said he gave some of the campaign contributions back.

"The level of hipocracy is stunning," Reed said during the city council meeting Tuesday. "I'm sick of it."

"Common Cause, which has driven the media inquiries around this, has so much stain on it that it stinks," Reed added.