Even if it were true, there was a lot of time remaining in which to run a bidding process. I've run competitive bids for much higher contract value in a lot shorter time frames.
His entire shtick just left a bad taste in my mouth along with many of the people attending the meeting. It didn't help that he was going to skip the community consultation portion of the development process altogether until the community caught wind of the development about a week before council was to vote on it. Only then did he capitulate and hold a meeting, "for information purposes only". This is what I mean about "ramming it through council", without any input from the public.