From John Hammer at The Rhino Times:
[I]interim City Attorney Tom Pollard on Tuesday, Sept. 6, said that the city was unable to find the email that then City Attorney Rita Danish sent to Frayda Bluestein, professor of public law and government and associate dean for faculty development at the North Carolina School of Government. That email gave Bluestein the information used to offer the opinion that Councilmember Robbie Perkins, who had a direct business relationship with D.H. Griffin Companies, did not have a conflict of interest and could vote on White Street Landfill issues. Bluestein also offered the opinion that Councilmember Zack Matheny, who had an indirect business relationship, had a conflict of interest and could not vote on matters concerning using the White Street Landfill to dispose of Greensboro’s garbage as long as Gate City Waste Services was involved.
From Amanda Lehmert at the N&R, a week ago:
Councilwoman Nancy Vaughan will be able to vote on whether to hire Gate City Waste Services to run the White Street Landfill, Interim City Attorney Tom Pollard concluded Wednesday.
That reaffirms his previous conclusion that Vaughan cannot be barred from voting because of her husband’s business ties with another trash company.
Pollard’s ruling also topples the plans of four council members to hire Gate City to dump city trash at White Street. That plan was hanging by a slim one-vote majority, and Vaughan said she will add another vote in opposition.
From John Hammer at The Rhino Times:
It looks like Councilmember Nancy Vaughan, who was out and then, last week, back in, is now out again because of a conflict of interest.
Wednesday, Sept. 7, Gate City Waste Services sent a letter to Greensboro City Manager Rashad Young proposing “additional solid waste management services that will enhance our original offering and provide additional revenue and/or cost savings to the City of Greensboro. The addition of services related to, but not specifically requested, in the original RFP is allowed under NC General Statute 143-129.2 Construction, design, and operation of solid waste management … facilities.
The letter is signed by F. Norbert Hector Jr., managing member, Gate City Waste Services.
One of the additional services offered, the one that is going to result in the most uproar, is titled “Option I Landfill Gas Project Development” and states, “Gate City Waste Services believes that there is a significant revenue source existing at the landfill in the unutilized landfill gas from Phase 3 which is currently being flared and the additional gas which is under a limited length contract with Cone Mills.” “
It appears Tom Pollard has his hands full and may rely on the NC School of Government to save his hide. The recusal of two city council members is in question regarding the Sept. 20 vote to award the contract to Gate City Waste Services for reopening the White Street Landfill.
The concern at this point seems to be if the School of Government will have sufficient info and time to render an opinion before the vote. If not, it will be pucker time for Pollard and several on council.
And you have to hand it to GCWS for attaching methane to their proposal as a last minute ploy to achieve victory. I don’t think we’ve underestimated the conservatives on council, but probably the vendor which has been driving the process. Of course, if this thing moves forward, Chris Brook and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice still have a few legal cards up their sleeves.
From The Rhino Times:
Option III notes that Gate City is an equity partner in a landfill project in Rockingham County and would be able to assist the city with disposal options when that project is permitted by the state.
This particular landfill is to be situated beside the Dan River, which serves as a drinking water source for the town of Eden, and lies near a regional airport, which does not need the overflight of birds drawn to the landfill. So, GCWS has managed not only to infuriate the citizens of Greensboro, but also those of Rockingham County.