Monday, January 10, 2011

Garbage Contract

The protest by Choice Environmental Systems against the awarding of the garbage pickup contract to Waste Management is scheduled to be rejected tomorrow night. Seriously.

Normally the way a protest is handled is that the deciding body resolves to hear the protest, then discuss the merits of the protest, and then decides to accept or reject the protest.

Not here. Item 9A on the Commission agenda available here is a resolution "rejecting a protest of award of contract" and was introduced by Vice Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps.

So no motion to review the protest, no motion to discuss the protest, just a motion to reject.

This garbage contract has been dirty since the beginning. Side yard pickup is a valued service among North Bay Village residents and we were not given the opportunity to express that. The City Manager on September 28 stated that there were $500,000 in savings to be realized from the outsourcing, even though the savings were estimated at about $80,000. Then Mayor Oscar Alfonse ran the meeting out.

It was not done in the open and transparent manner we need for such a critical decision.

I hope that the City Attorney, as the Parliamentarian for the Commission, reviews the correct process, that the motion to reject is withdrawn and replaced by a motion to review, and that this time the questions about the savings, the impact on the neighborhood and our long term strategies are discussed fully and honestly.

After all, a motion for a summary rejection of the protest without discussion of the merits of the protest would certainly be a violation of the spirit and perhaps the letter of the Sunshine Law. Government works best in the open.

Kevin Vericker
January 10, 2011

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