City Council Votes Again To Award Garbage Contract

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

The Meridian City Council has again voted 3-2 in favor of Waste Management to handle the city's garbage pickup.

Mayor Cheri Barry has promised, again, to veto it. She said she won't allow the council to be fiscally irresponsible.

It requires four votes to override a mayoral veto. But council members George Thomas and Barbara Henson agree with Barry, so attempts to override only resulted in three votes..

"I don't think there is a question, can you do the work?" said Thomas at Tuesday night's meeting, arguing that Southern Waste is not only the lowest bid but the best. Thomas said the company's record proves that.

Meanwhile, council members Jesse Palmer, Bobby Smith and Mary Perry maintain that Waste Management, the higher bidder, has the best bid.

"There is a possibility that this council could face a lawsuit if it is determined that their choice is not the lowest and the best," said Henson.

"Someone said, you are going to get sued. Who cares? But I tell you, it would be a frivolous cause, because we are protected by law that says lowest and best. And I say Waste Management has the best," Palmer said.

"The is the very same contract I vetoed for my first veto of the city of Meridian," said Barry. "And I will continue to veto. We will come up with a solution. And we have people working hard looking for the best solution for the city."

According to Thomas, it isn't financially responsible to go with the higher bid.

"We've eliminated positions; we've furloughed people. And here we are talking about spending $107,000 for a service we can get for less," said Thomas. "I have not yet heard why it is best."

The council meeting was recessed until Sept. 30. Jesse Palmer and Bobby Smith will not be present at that time.

None of the parties involved seem to know what will happen if a decision isn't reached by the end of the month, when the current Waste Management contract expires.

The city advertised for bids for once per week pickup, as opposed to the twice per week service in place now. That was done as a cost-saving measure.

Both George Thomas and Barbara Henson favored, and still favor, a contract with Southern Waste, which came in about $107,000 per year less than the WM bid.

The Meridian City Council voted 3-2 again Tuesday in favor of awarding a garbage collection contract to Waste Management.

Mayor Barry says she will also veto this vote of the council.


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  • by Julie Location: Meridian on Sep 27, 2010 at 07:03 AM
    KATHY JENKINS: Thanks for your vote of support! Not at all surprised that you didn't hear from Bobby Smith---and, by the way, did you notice at the end of the coucil meeting, he was at 1. a loss for words 2. Those words that he was able to get out of his mouth regarding his absence from the meeting on 9/30 didn't make sense? That is really the problem with those three members of the council---they will rave and rant about a subject, but have no facts to back it up----is that not called "empty rhetoric"? Thanks to Barbara and George for sticking to their (and our) guns!
  • by Anonymous on Sep 24, 2010 at 05:53 PM
    remember this is the same fools that said go with city hall then 3 ft and 22nd bridge that was over kill in over runs.. and not once spent money where it should had been spent like the streets .. drainage .. oh yeah they did help get jobs here .. all low pay and almost all the restaurants owned by the same people...
  • by Kathy Jenkins Location: Meridian - Ward 5 on Sep 24, 2010 at 05:09 PM
    LAURA: Thanks for your comments too. I didn't include Palmer and Perry since I, unfortunately, am in Smith's "Ward". But I do agree that those two, especially Palmer, are also an embarrasment to all of us. By the way, as of right now (Friday, 7:05 pm), I have not had a response from my email to Bobby Smith - not surprised. To the persons that post here afraid or unwilling to show their real names, shame on you too. If you believe in something, state it and admit who you are. If you do that, it just might make a difference. But anyway, all we can do now is just wait until next Thursday and see what happens. The good will prevail - if not this time, later - KARMA. Thanks!!
  • by me on Sep 24, 2010 at 04:13 PM
    Hey Citizen, are you trying to say that the extreme salary paid to a parttime helper (60k plus) is not the same money as the 107k? Why do they claim to save the taxpayers money when they just going to -------- them in the end
  • by Laura Location: Meridian on Sep 24, 2010 at 08:45 AM
    KATHY JENKINS: Way to go on your comment. That was downright eloquent----which you don't see a whole lot on these posts! The sentiments expressed are exactly my opinions as well; however, I wish you had also included Palmer and Perry! I have never seen more arrogant individuals than Perry, Palmer, and Smith; they continue to be an embarrassment to the city of Meridian, and, I would hope, to their constituents, who should get them out of office at the earliest opportunity. Thanks again for your comment!
  • by Kathy Jenkins Location: Meridian - Ward 5 on Sep 23, 2010 at 05:41 PM
    An open letter sent to Bobby Smith - I did leave my contact information out of this post, but I will let you know if I hear from hear - doubtful.... Bobby, You are urged to allow the garbage contract to be awarded to Southern Waste. There is no legitimate reason that I have heard, coming from your mouth or in written words from others that oppose Southern Waste, as to why they should not be awarded the contract. I did not vote for you in the last election, and you can rest assured that I will not vote for you in the next election for many reasons. Your opposition to saving money for the City of Meridian is abhorent, as is your arrogance, and these are two of the reasons that you will never get my vote. If you would like to discuss this with me, or give me legitimate reasons for changing my mind, you can contact me at the address or phone number below. I doubt that I will hear from you if your history is an indication of your future actions.
  • by bubba on Sep 23, 2010 at 05:29 PM
    VETO VETO VETO VETO VETO VETO VETO. GO MAYOR GO. hold to your guns mayor
  • by KS Location: Meridian, Mississippippippi on Sep 23, 2010 at 02:06 PM
    Here's an option: Have each of the three councilnuts put in 35,667 each from their own salary. Then WM would win by a penny and Smithy would be happy.
  • by Citizen on Sep 23, 2010 at 01:10 PM
    Hey Free by Truth, If you have a problem with the Mayor, that's one thing, but the issue is the council and the decision on a garbage contract. The $107k is the difference between the two bids. It's not that difficult.
  • by Amazed Location: Meridian on Sep 23, 2010 at 12:34 PM
    I still have yet to see justification from Palmer, Perry and Smith for why the city should spend the extra money. The burden of proof should be on THEM to prove why we SHOULD spend the extra money, not on the others and the Mayor to prove why we should NOT. This is a no-brainer. If the ones adamant about WM have GOOD REASONS why the city should give the contract to WM, then TELL US instead of doing such a poor job of talking in circles, waving a gavel around and being rude and condescending. I applaud the Mayor for demanding they be more prudent with taxpayer money!
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