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Landscaping Contracts Spurs Controversy In D.C.

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D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has taken some flak for ditching a Maryland-based landscaping company in favor of a District-based one that costs substantially more.
Martin Cathrae: http://www.flickr.com/photos/suckamc/4576900792/
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has taken some flak for ditching a Maryland-based landscaping company in favor of a District-based one that costs substantially more.

A pair of city-contracts to cut the grass at District ball fields is stirring up controversy at city hall. 

For two straight days The Washington Post editorial page has raised questions about why Mayor Vincent Gray initially wanted to cancel the lawn-mowing contract for a Maryland company, but keep the contract for the District-based firm, even though it was charging substantially more. 

On Wednesday, the Mayor lashed out: "Well, I find it interesting that we would spend as much ink on a grass-cutting contract that is very explicable, it just seems fictional."

Gray says he wants to make sure companies based in the District have opportunities to compete for city contracts. Under procurement rules, the city, like many other jurisdictions, gives preferential treatment to local firms in the bidding process. 

On Friday the D.C. Council is holding a hearing on the issue, to help, in one member’s words, “clear the air.”

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