The Miami-Dade County Commission has wrapped up debate over a baggage contract at Miami International Airport.
With an 11-1 vote, the commission voted to override two vetoes from Mayor Carlos Gimenez and award the contract to a local company, Safe Wrap, over the company county staff had recommended, True Star/Sinapsis, even though True Star had promised to pay 65 percent of its gross revenue while Safe Wrap had offered only 52 percent.
"That difference could signify up to $6 million in revenue over the next several years," said Mayor Gimenez, explaining why he vetoed the commission's decision to award the concession to Safe Wrap. "Even though I knew that they were going to overturn it, I thought that I had to make a statement that it wasn't right."
Both firms had given the county the same minimum annual guaranteed payment of $9.6 million. Only Commissioner Xavier Suarez voted to uphold the vetoes. The rest of the commissioners said they simply could not trust True Star, which currently provides the baggage wrap service at the airport, because the company had already broken promises about revenue payments.
"Also, the other company was promising a higher percentage, but based on increasing, doubling the cost to the customers," said Commissioner Rebeca Sosa.
Safe Wrap has pledged not to increase the cost of wrapping luggage in plastic for the next ten years.
True Star is suing the county, saying since it submitted the lowest bid, it was wrongfully denied the contract.