Mayor Morrison Leads City to Narrow Victory on Contract with Republic Services

 

After a contentious debate, the San Angelo City Council voted to move forward with signing a trash and landfill management contract for at least 10 more years with Republic Services.

Citizen comments were running two-to-one in against moving forward. Many, including local businessman and CEO of Mayfield Paper Co. Stanley Mayfield made spirited arguments that a new contract should not be ratified and signed until the local businesses who were allegedly overcharged are paid back. Mayfield is a co-plaintiff with Acme Iron and Metal on a lawsuit against Republic.

On the other side, Olive’s Nursery owner Tommy Olive delivered a spirited defense of Republic and the Council, referring to his service on a local school board. He said he trusted the Council’s decision to move forward.

The agenda items 15 and 16 arrived shortly after noon Tuesday. Mayor Dwain Morrison asked the room if their desire was to work through lunch to finish the vote. Unanimously, everyone agreed.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Grindstaff opposed moving forward until all questions on the overcharging allegations were satisfied. “This contract is our only leverage,” she said. Councilman Don Vardeman agreed. Councilman Rodney Fleming said that there was no question that Republic won the bid, however he said that his constituents were so angry about the overcharges that he could not vote to move forward until the alleged overcharges were reconciled. Councilman Marty Self appeared to be considering voting against the contract. But Councilman Johnny Silvas gave a spirited defense of Republic and it seemed to sway Self to vote to approve.

Morrison had the last comment before the vote.

“Both companies were given equal footing to give their best proposal and to send us an RFP, and send us a contract price. Both companies didn’t,” he said. Raising his voice, Morrison continued, “Republic gave us a very good price. Plus they’re paying for our landfill. There’s many, many millions of dollars involved. TDS [Texas Disposal Systems] did not. Republic gave us the best price for pickup, at a better price than TDS.”

“We have had our hands tied since this thing began. We’ve been called names. There’s been insinuations. There’s been things said that should not have been said against us. And we can’t even call it back. We can’t even defend ourselves,” he said.

“So we’ve sat back and we’ve taken the hits and we’ve taken the names and we’ve taken the things that people have said, and we have not been able to say anything back. And personally, I’m getting tired of playing defense. I’m ready to go on offense. And I’m ready to go forward on this,” Morrison concluded.

When the vote was cast, Morrison, Self, Silvas, and Councilwoman Charlotte Farmer voted to sign the contract. Grindstaff, Fleming, and Vardeman voted against.

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Comments

Once again the city is jumping the gun on this decision! Why do they want to vote on it so fast? Why do they not want to get to the bottom of the overages that are being charged to this city? It's almost like they don't even care. If they do, they sure aren't showing it!
It looks like we will have to have a some new faces on the city council after the next election.
If it quacks like a duck it's a duck. Sure repubic had the best pricing on the top side but what about the bottom side? Oh I forgot that's where you let them over charge 27 million fluf to offset. You go ahead on the offense and if you can't handle the heat, you can back to building crooked fences(:
A huge rate increase - a reduction in services provided - and a 10 year monopoly on top of it all!! This is a winner for sure.... You go Republic.......
D W, Tue, 07/01/2014 - 22:20
It sounds to me as if that last vote for the contract was a biased vote based on emotions. At least get to the bottom of the extravagant fees they are being accused of charging before you hand them more money!!! WHY WOULDN'T a company beat a competitors price after padding their pockets with inflated fees during the last contract? Complaining about being put under pressure by citizens shouldn't be the words you speak before you vote on their behalf.
27 Million??? The law suit maybe trying for that but the overages were no where near that from my reading of this new media (this is considered news media correct? I have friends who seem to have comments removed...so lets see what happens here). Though no one can ever please everyone, items were placed on the table, decisions made, then whiners whined!.. Hats off to our Mayor for making a stand for our city. Our council did what they were elected to do for us, and even debated this subject well before making the close decision. Now folks time to put away the mud pies and move on. Actually I do not remember Republic making any unfavorable remarks during this process, so professionalism still does survive in todays world. I always have and will continue to support our local elected officials!

The lawsuit plaintiffs are claiming $9.2 million in damages, and in one of the causes of action, the lawyer Gary Newton said, he was going to seek treble damages. Plus there's interest and legal fees. And the lawyer is asking the court to allow a class. That's what I reported. Republic's worst case is a $27.6 million judgement. Mid -case, recovery of the charges as filed by the two plaintiffs (probably in the $10k range). Best case for Republic, the case is dismissed.  You can read the filed lawsuit here.

'Millions of dollars at stake,' but for who? I think the mayor of mayberry needs a new job, thanks for the rate hike and the downgrade of service, you can be proud of your legacy!
I'm absolutely ecstatic that our mayors defense crumbled. That's a great reason to go on offense and stick it to the people. Keep that up and the Jerry Jones will give him the nod... I personally think that the typos in the contract could be detrimental to small businesses, and the language should be corrected before a anything is approved.
Let's see here... Raise the price and cut the service. Sounds like a good democrat decision.
bella, you are right... republic didn't call anyone names. in fact, they wouldn't say ANYTHING because they had NO defense for their actions!! 'THEY' are not the ones that came forward and said' HEY YA'LL WE MADE A MISTAKE AND OVERCHARGED YOU'. no... they only said they would repay after someone uncovered the scheme. and they would NOT make known to the public the findings of their audit. as for the city council members that voted to award the contract... why the rush? is this REALLY how they serve their constituents? or maybe they don't HAVE to worry about re-election because they have already received they retirement nest- egg from republic. personally, I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!! And I'm fairly positive I speak for most common sense folks around here.

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