Jackson’s garbage contract debate heats up


It was a contentious and confusing Jackson City Council meeting on Thursday, as members and the mayor remain at odds over a garbage collection contract. The city council voted not to extend Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba’s declaration of emergency. The city attorney told council the mayor had signed a new one-year emergency contract with Richard’s Disposal. to (expletive),” Stokes told Omari. The confusion began after City Attorney Catoria Martin told the council that when the mayor issued his emergency declaration last week, he signed the temporary contract with Richard’s Disposal.” Looking at this, saying there was a contract. I don’t see a contract so I don’t know what I’m voting to approve that has already been executed,” Ward 6 Councilor Aaron Banks said. Banks moved a substitution motion to replace the name Richard’s Disposal in the order by the current supplier, Waste Management. But it was unclear whether the council could legally do this. “I would advise against this to the council because it is clear that the council does not have the power to negotiate agreements”, said Martin. City Council President Virgi Lindsay explained the final vote. “Council, with a vote of 4 to 3, voted not to uphold the Mayor’s Executive Order and they removed Richard’s Disposal as a ‘company that was getting the emergency contract,’ Lindsay said. Lindsay said the board would again be forced to hire outside attorneys because of the possible conflict with the city attorney’s office.

It was a contentious and confusing Jackson City Council meeting on Thursday, as members and the mayor remain at odds over a garbage collection contract.

The city council voted not to extend Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba’s declaration of emergency. The city attorney told council the mayor had signed a new one-year emergency contract with Richard’s Disposal.

Tensions flared at some point between chief of staff Dr Safiya R. Omari and adviser Kenneth Stokes.

“I’m a councillor. No one elected you (expletive),” Stokes told Omari.

The confusion began after City Attorney Catoria Martin told council that when the mayor issued his emergency declaration last week, he signed the temporary contract with Richard’s Disposal.

“Looking at this, saying there was a contract. I don’t see a contract, so I don’t know what I’m voting to approve that’s already been executed,” the Ward 6 councilman said, Aaron Banks.

Banks moved a superseding motion to change the name of Richard’s Disposal in the order to the current supplier, Waste Management. But it was unclear whether the council could legally do so.

“I would advise against this to the board because clearly the board does not have the power to negotiate agreements,” Martin said.

City Council President Virgi Lindsay explained the final vote.

“Council, with a vote of 4 to 3, voted not to uphold the mayor’s executive order and they removed Richard’s Disposal as the company that got the emergency contract,” Lindsay said.

Lindsay said the board would again be forced to hire outside attorneys because of the possible conflict with the city attorney’s office.


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