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Mike Barber Against Opening Landfill

August 16, 2011

I’ve been busy preparing and eating dinner, so I caught the last of the Powerpoint presentation to Greensboro City Council regarding the vendor proposals to reopen the White Street Landfill. However, it was woefully apparent to me from what little I saw that city council is not possibly prepared to choose a vendor tonight.

I have watched all the speakers from the floor on the issue so far and was surprised when the attorney representing the landfill opponents, after reading a letter he sent to the acting city attorney indicating that DENR would probably never approve the current effort to re-open the landfill or any subsequent attempt to rezone other phases for such use based on civil rights violations, said he had received a phone call from former Guilford County Commissioner and two term Greensboro City Councilman, Mike Barber. According to the attorney, Barber wanted a message relayed to council that he was not in favor of the current process.

My fervent hope is that councilman Danny Thompson, at least, will relent, as he recently did on the Farmers’ Market issue, to those insisting on the common sense idea of tabling this decision until the vendor proposals have been given the required scrutiny by the consultants and city staff.

As we well know, I am willing to disparage the four conservatives on council for, if not the decision to re-open the landfill, the needlessly urgent and brazen process by which it has been conducted. All we need this evening is one vote among them to table this decision. Not only would tonight’s vote to approve a vendor be political suicide, it is not in the interest of good governance. Perhaps Mike Barber’s opinion will sway one of them. I believe the odds are better than good.

Marikay Abuzaiter, at-large candidate for council, is speaking and has seen the emails to council regarding the landfill and indicates they run 9 to 1 against.

I think a reasonable person would consider the statements from the consultants and the citizens from the floor to be withering. Should council approve a vendor this evening, I would be left with the inescapable opinion that the proponents are not reasonable people.

An A&T student is speaking brilliantly without benefit of a prepared speech.

Apparently, the speakers have concluded and councilwoman TDBS is speaking. She is lamenting that it is usual for proposals to be postponed and wonders why this one isn’t. If this were for any other purchase, due diligence would have been observed. She warns the commissioners present that their constituents will experience increased garbage traffic.

TDBS has shamed Barber for his comment “after starting this mess.” My research indicates he initiated a landfill cost study in 2008.

The camera just panned the audience and Skip Alston is present.

TDBS wonders if this is a plot to keep east GSO a “ninety pound weakling” regarding future development. It’s as good a reason as I’ve heard.

Mayor Darth Vader is speaking. He grew up in East GSO. He met with the HRC and the Neighborhood Congress and believes he’s done his due diligence, the current proposals notwithstanding. He’s showing his photos again of the W-S and Raleigh landfills. This apparently is all the stupid old man has. He talked to the Raleigh city manager and Wake County manager about odors and rodents. He seems not to get the fact that this vote needs to be postponed. Dumbass. He just picked his nose on camera.

Trudy Wade makes the motion to award to Gate City Waste Services. Jabba the Rakestraw seconded. No surprise there.

Jim Kee says the Raleigh landfill is closed. He’s reading a letter against the landfill from Pricey Harrison. He’s reading past commissioner minutes regarding zoning. It includes 235 acres expanding the Forsyth county landfill into Oak Ridge and speaks to the transportation and environmental impacts. Staff recommended denial of the rezoning, with Wade and Rakestraw agreeing when commissioners. Devastating.

Robbie Perkins says it’s hard to follow that. He finds it incredible they are considering a vote tonight on this issue. Thought, preparation and process have been a disaster. Every piece has an element of manipulation with a designed outcome which he finds appalling. It has divided this community like no other. How can you not postpone this? This is going to affect every other decision we make. In 2003, the worst case scenario was to use our capacity with no long term plan in place.

Darth Vader rebuts Kee. Raleigh is closed.

TDBS makes a motion to postpone decision for ninety days.

The Breck Girl is speaking to Wade’s motion for only city waste. He’s querying the consultants on the proposals.

Perkins is speaking to TDBS’ motion. The Gang of Four need to defend their reasons or he will insist on an investigation.

The postpone motion fails.

Wade’s motion is up. TDBS is questioning Rashad as to the bid process. Futile, but courageous.

Gather the torches and pitchforks… The motion passes.

Good night Greensboro and God help us.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. anon permalink
    August 17, 2011 6:26 am

    Does anyone care that company that won the bid was not the low bidder, but controlled by David Griffin, local scion of wrecking?

    Griffin subbed the work out and will only skim his part off the top.

    Sad day for GSO……

  2. August 17, 2011 7:56 am

    I have competed with Griffin. His personnel are among the best trained in the world. The accusation that he is subbing the work out is a lie. Griffin formed a new company to do the work– not the same as subbing the work out.

    Griffin owns and operates several landfills throughout the Southeast including at least 1 right here in Guilford County.

    As for not giving the contract to the lowest bidder– anyone can submit any bid they like but that doesn’t mean the bidder is capable of doing the work. Council must decide if the lowest bidder can do the work in a way that suits the city’s requirements and needs. Fec and I could form a company and bid but that doesn’t mean we can do the work.

    Sadly, the long term goal of this effort is to continue to landfill and not to look towards technology to solve Greensboro’s waste problems.

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