As Gate City Waste Services and its enablers in the media attempt to confuse the citizens of Greensboro, and those who are rendering legal opinions, regarding the recusal of council members Matheny and Vaughan in the upcoming vote to award the contract to reopen the White Street Landfill, let us return to the central argument made by city attorney, Tom Pollard, and so far supported by Chris Brook of the SCSJ:
It is undisputed that Ms. Vaughan has no financial interest in Gate City or a potential contract between the City and Gate City. The failure to approve a contract with Gate City does not dictate a particular option for the City’s solid waste management services or ensure that Waste Industries will benefit from any future options chosen by the City Council. The connection of such decisions to the financial interests of Waste Industries and Ms. Vaughan is tenuous. The possibility that Waste Industries might retain some competitive advantage if the Council does not approve the contract with Gate City is just too remote an interest to overcome the strong public policy underlying the requirement to vote as set forth in G.S. 160A-75.
From Brook’s letter:
Ms. Danish, Professor Bluestein, and you have articulated consistent, predictable, and well-grounded legal analysis of conflicts throughout the RFP processes.
On the other hand, Gate City said nothing for months in regard to their current belief that the City Attorney’s office had wrongly excluded Councilman Matheny and wrongly included Councilman Perkins in consideration of the RFP processes. Only when their multi-million dollar contract was imperiled by Greensboro elected representatives did Gate City make their concerns known.
I am not an attorney and neither are many others who have commented on this subject. However, Pollard is to be congratulated for producing a ruling so concise that it may be understood by a layman. Furthermore, I believe the opinion of Chris Brook will be supported by other legal minds, whether in a consulting or judicial capacity.
Brook believes Pollard’s argument stands on firm legal ground. Indeed, Brook ends his letter by mocking Gate City’s efforts. And lest we forget, Brook already has two legal victories in the RFP process.
Gate City Waste Services has so far pulled nearly every stunt imaginable, including a full page ad in last week’s Rhino Times which was full of lies. The lawsuit may in fact be the final gambit. If it fails, and there is very good reason to believe it will, we may finally put this sordid mess behind us and get on with the process of effective governance.
But we will remember in November. And actually in October, too.