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Topic: The never ending Rizzo Trash deal
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Rochester Hills trash hauler donated to Mayor Bryan Barnett's PAC weeks before contract discussions began

By Ryan Felton, The Oakland Press

Posted: 10/05/13, 12:01 AM EDT | Updated: on 10/05/2013
4 Comments

A political action committee representing a trash hauler seeking an extension of a city contract donated $1,000 to one of Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnetts campaign funds, weeks before a committee first met to review the contractors program, The Oakland Press has found.

Its not unusual for communities to exercise optional extensions on contracts without a competitive bid process, municipal law experts said, as Rochester Hills did with the citys single trash hauler Republic Services, if the program satisfies officials and residents.

But some have questioned the timing of an April 13 donation by a fund representing Republic to Barnetts political action committee, The Barnett Leadership Fund.

The citys five-year contract with Republic, set to expire in March 2014, drew attention last month from a competitor, Sterling Heights-based Rizzo Environmental Services, after the firm learned Rochester Hills officials had no plans to offer a competitive bid process, and instead were likely to approve an optional five-year extension. The estimated cost of the contract is $25 million.

Rochester Hills City Council approved the extension in a 6-0 vote at its Sept. 30 meeting, after more than half a dozen residents and councilmembers spoke in favor of Republics service.

Republic responded, saying, This spring the company supported an annual mayoral event with a contribution from its PAC, said Darci McConnell, Republic spokeswoman. Four years ago Republic won a competitive bid process in Rochester Hills, and we believe the citys decision this week to extend the contract was based on Republics strong record of service and value.

But the no-bid decision bothered Rizzo and Deborah Whyman of Citizens for Accountable Government, a Canton Township-based nonprofit political watchdog group.

Whyman told The Oakland Press her group paid for two rounds of robocalls to hundreds of homes the weekend before the vote. The calls scorned by councilmembers at the Sept. 30 meeting as misinformation made reference to Kevin Kendall, Republic Services municipal services senior manager for Michigan, as being a donor to The Barnett Leadership Fund.

Kendall donated $130 to the fund in April 2012, according to state records.

Certainly, elected officials raise money from whatever source they can, said Whyman, a former Michigan state representative. But, here you have a vendor who lives in the community, whos donating money.

Kendall could not be reached for comment.

Patrick McCauley, a municipal law expert of the Farmington Hills law firm Gasiorek, Morgan, Greco & McCauley, said its not uncommon for communities to extend contracts through an optional provision, if service is adequate.

The option is typically exercised at the discretion of the community, he said. Thats a call the elected officials have to make.

But McCauley said the timing of the Republic donation to Barnetts fund about three weeks before the citys Solid Waste Committee first met, which included Barnett, City Council President Greg Hooper and City Council Vice President Michael Webber certainly is an issue that needs to be raised. Whether it had any impact or not on anyones vote is problematic.

The Solid Waste Committee was formed by the administration before the 2008 bidding process for a single trash hauler commenced, according to city records.

With a slightly different makeup Webber sat in place of former Councilman Vern Pixley the committee met May 9 and June 4 to review Republics program, city records showed.

The committee submitted a memo, dated Sept. 30, to the mayor and city council that detailed the review process committee members met with an Ann Arbor-based Resource Recycling Systems Inc. consultant who helped review programs from other communities and assisted in weighing the options between re-negotiating the Republic contract or soliciting a new request for proposals.

About three weeks before the committees first meeting, on April 13, Phoenix-based Republic Services Inc. Employees for Better Government PAC donated $1,000 to Barnetts fund, according to a review of a state records.

Barnett said its not unusual for companies who do business with cities to support elected officials, a point echoed by a Rizzo spokesperson.

Often times when theres a relationship, a good working relationship (with a company) theyll come to events and support you, Barnett said. This is pretty much a continued technique from those folks who are disgruntled...unhappy that the city has a good working relationship with a company weve had the last few years.

When businesses and individuals have a chance to work with me and my administration, (they) appreciation what we do for the community and see the progress weve made, Barnett said.

Barnetts term expires in 2015, but the Rochester Hills City Charter would allow him to run as a write-in candidate in the next election.

Barnett said a political action committee representing another trash disposal company, Waste Management Inc., has donated to his fund in the past.

Since 2011, the WMI Pac of Michigan, which represents Waste Management, has donated $200 to The Barnett Leadership Fund, according to state records.

The majority of Barnetts campaign funds have come from residents, Barnett said.

Its much more important to me on how these contracts impact the residents, he said.

Republics fund did not donate to Hooper or Webbers campaign funds, according to a review of finance reports filed with Oakland County.

Webber said he was unaware of Republics donation to Barnetts fund.

I only looked at the negotiated terms of the proposed contract and leaned on our consultants (Ann Arbor-based Resource Recycling Systems Inc.) recommendation based on his understanding of the industry, Webber said by email. I can confirm...that I have not gotten any donations from Republic in the past, and, again, that would not influence my decision.

Hooper said he was also unaware of the Republic donation, but I am sure the list contains many members of the Greater Rochester area.

Under the renewed contract with Republic, residents will pay $15 a month a roughly 13 percent price cut for weekly pickups, city officials said.

Joe Munem, spokesman for Rizzo, said the company was seeking the contract by pushing for a competitive bid process, but contended the city couldve landed bigger savings than what Republic offered.

And the companys aggressive effort to have contracts bid out doesnt mean were going to get the contract, he said.

We never asked them to award the contract (to Rizzo), Munem, a former political consultant to Whyman during some of her previous runs for office. Quite frankly, Waste Management couldve come in and underbid everyone.

Munem said he contacted Whyman about the matter, but denied any further involvement in the watchdog group by Rizzo.

It just doesnt exist, Munem said. Our company agrees with the fact that things should be competitively bid.

Whyman declined to comment on how her group is financed.

Munem said, I dont think necessarily that a contribution in itself is a problem, after pointing out Rizzo has a similar committee that has made contributions to elected officials. A lot of organizations have PACS and make contributions.

Our whole ambition was simply for this to be bid out, he said.

Peter Letzmann, the former city attorney for Troy and an expert on municipal law, said optional extensions are commonly exercised, if the service satisfies the community.

If a municipality is considering an optional provision, and does substantial and objective homework to make a true comparison between the current contractor and competitors, then that would be justification to extend the contract, Letzmann said.

A bidding process could be extensive, detailed and time consuming for city staff, he said.

The bottom line is that it is not unusual, Letzmann said, but the timing of the Republic donation to Barnetts fund is terrible.
Letzmann said, Id tell you, if I were the mayor if the mayor would check with me I would immediately send the money back...so there would be no accusations of taint or irregularities.

Contact staff writer Ryan Felton at 248-745-4654 or ryan.felton@oakpress.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanfelton13.

Ryan Felton

Ryan Felton is a staff writer at The Oakland Press who covers Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, transportation and technology. Blogging about Detroit at detroit.jalopnik.com. Reach the author at ryan.felton@oakpress.com or follow Ryan on Twitter: @ryanfelton13.
Post Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:05 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

[PDF]to read the full 50 page report. - Garbage Haulers...
www.haulersforchoice.com/uploads/9/6/9/6/9696305/2013_05.21....
File format:Adobe PDF

May 21, 2013 ... Garbage haulers in the community were opposed and supported citizens in their ... any ...




The creation an costs created by a monopoly in garbage hauling. 50 page report
Post Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:11 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Something really smells up a City Hall! | Patch
patch.com/michigan/rochester/something-really-smells-up-a-ci...

Oct 4, 2013 ... Why did we not want to listen to Rizzo Environmental Services... if they ... Rochester...
Post Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:21 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Why did we not want to listen to Rizzo Environmental Services... if they say is true... those kind of numbers would (over five years) save the residents over 4 million dollars.

Why did we not bid this out!!! All these trash hauler companies excel in customer satisfaction; if you don't accomplish that goal in America now a days you fail.
Something really smells up a City Hall and it's not garbage. Mayor Bryan K. Barnett is the new Kwame Kilpatrick of the north... that is why we did not bid out garbage.

Rochester Hills trash hauler donated to Mayor Bryan Barnett's PAC weeks before contract discussions began

By Ryan Felton, The Oakland Press (see story above)

Posted: 10/04/13, 3:49 PM EDT | Updated: 47 secs ago
A political action committee representing a trash hauler seeking an extension of a city contract donated $1,000 to one of Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnetts campaign (That trash hauler was Republic)


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:27 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

'First the water. Now the trash': Flint bickering...
www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/08/0...

2 days ago ... The city announced Saturday that it will suspend trash pickup indefinitely ... the city...
Detroit's curbside recycling program goes unused -...
www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2015/04/21/c...

Apr 22, 2015 ... The city's shift to privatized trash pickup last March brought with it the ... The...
Post Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:41 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0LEV79FZ6RXKXsAdS0nnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTE0dGZobHZmBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwM2BHZ0aWQDRkZVSTNDMV8xBHNlYwNzcg--/RV=2/RE=1470420934/RO=10/RU=https%3a%2f%2fwww.consumeraffairs.com%2fhomeowners%2frepublic-services-waste-management.html/RK=0/RS=SeMU1UmH0aoKRpwzrdNFRRQv0j8-

www.consumersaffair.com homeowners uilities

searched under Republic waste pickup problems. many communities have residents pay independent companies on an individual basis for trash removal.

This was a consumers affairs -consumer complaint and review and Republic received a one star satisfaction rating.

Other communities split their contracts. For example Burton has Waste Management pcking up trash and another company for recycling.
Post Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:18 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Lawmaker calls for state probe into Flint trash contract dispute
Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com By Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com

on August 05, 2016 at 4:12 PM, updated August 05, 2016 at 4:13 PM

Lawmaker calls for state probe into Flint trash contract dispute

FLINT, MI A state representative has asked Attorney General Bill Schuette to investigate Flint's city council for not supporting a recommendation to hire a new trash hauler for Flint.

State Rep. Aaron Miller, R-Sherman Township, issued an open letter to the Attorney General's office earlier this week calling for an investigation and opinion regarding Flint's trash contract dispute.

"We seem to have seen other examples of municipal financial mismanagement just recently, but this one is particularly disappointing considering all of the state financial assistance that has gone to Flint over almost the past year," said Miller on a Michigan House of Republicans blog. "The city council is collectively thumbing its nose at saving money and is disregarding the law.

Andrea Bitely, press secretary for Schuette's office did say Attorney General is reviewing Miller's letter.

"We received a letter regarding Flint garbage pick-up dated August 1 from State Representative Aaron Miller of Sherman Township," Bitely said. "We are currently reviewing the letter."

The contract became an issue in June when council members voted against a recommendation to hire Rizzo Environmental Services to haul the city's garbage.

Flint City Council says 'no' to hiring new company to haul Flint's trash

Flint City Council says 'no' to hiring new company to haul Flint's trash

Flint City Council voted down a recommendation to hire Rizzo Environmental Services to haul the city's trash.

On July 28, Councilman Scott Kincaid filed suit against Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and her office after Weaver did not acknowledge the council's decision to move forward with renewing a contract with the city's current trash collector, Republic Services. The Flint City Council later voted to join Kincaid in his efforts and to hire legal counsel to represent them.

The issue has sparked controversy between the council and Weaver's office leaving residents without trash service for day.

Flint's mayor says there will be no trash collection until further notice

Flint's mayor says there will be no trash collection until further notice

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver's office issued a July 30 statement announcing that the city no longer has trash service and garbage will not be picked up starting Monday.

Councilwoman Kate Fields said she was thinking about asking Schuette to look into the issue and the city's bidding process regarding the trash contract.

"I am pretty sure everyone on the council would welcome an investigation," Fields said. "I am open to it and I hope it happens. The council has worked within charter and we are not being financially irresponsible."

The city's charter says they must accept the "lowest responsible" bid. Council members said they did not support hiring Rizzo even though the company's bid came in $2 million less than Republic Services after they questioned Rizzo's integrity and compared packages.

Trash frustrations mount as temporary agreement struck in Flint

Trash frustrations mount as temporary agreement struck in Flint

Officials have reached a temporary agreement to keep trash from piling up in Flint neighborhoods.

Despite, the council's reasons, Miller still says it's financially irresponsible.

"Where I come from, $2 million worth of savings is a lot of money," Miller said, "and my municipalities and schools have done great work historically to maintain fiscally responsible budgets. What do my cities receive from the state as a reward for acting responsibly? Nothing. And yet the state has always seemed willing to reward bad behavior elsewhere in the state or let it go unchecked. I'm tired of that and would like to see it stop."
The issue, which left residents without trash service for a day, is slotted to come up before the Receivership Transition Authority Board where members may make a decision on the contract. If not, it will head back to court on Aug. 11 where Genesee County Circuit Judge Joseph Farah may make the final decision.

Comment excerpt
John Daly
As a resident of Flint, I would have thought that a more equitable solution would have been to extend the current contract with Republic for 90 days. After the extension is in place, reject all bids. And then re-bid the proposal with a three year term only. This would probably resulted in lowered costs to the City. This transaction did not have to be this hard.
Post Fri Aug 05, 2016 10:42 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

No one ever said the trash business was 100% legit!



Stephen P. Dresch: The Offensive, Odorous...
forensic-intelligence.org/waste/cttrash.htm

The Offensive, Odorous Underbelly of Trash by ... under which Soave's City Management had ... mayor of ...


Trash Baron Networks for Profit - Forensic...
forensic-intelligence.org/waste/resoave.htm

Traverse City Record Eagle, July 27, 1993 Trash Baron Networks for Profit by Stephen P. Dresch. When...
Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:51 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Solid & Toxic Waste Files; Forensic Intelligence Hub-Page; Stephen P. Dresch, Chairman

Cheboygan Daily Tribune, July 27, 1993
The Offensive, Odorous Underbelly of Trash
by
Stephen P. Dresch

Newspapers statewide have been filled for several months with reports of mob activity and political chicanery in the Michigan trash business. Particularly riveting stories have come from Warren, where in 1991 the city's former trash hauler, Oakland Disposal, Inc., after its equipment was vandalized and its transfer station was firebombed, was replaced through a no-bid $16 million city contract with Warren Waste Transfer, a company established only a few weeks earlier, supposedly by Quirino D'Alessandro, a crony of Mayor Ronald Bonkowski.

In fact, D'Alessandro, who has been indicted on federal fraud charges as part of a continuing investigation of illegal gambling and money laundering and whose $1.5 million house has been seized by the Secret Service, was fronting for trash baron Anthony Soave, who, it turns out, owns Warren Waste Transfer. The confessed Oakland Disposal arsonist, small-time hood John Pree, now testifies that he and his accomplice, Carlo Bommarito, got the order to vandalize Oakland Disposal's equipment and firebomb its transfer station from Detroit mob boss Vito Giacalone. Pree, Bommarito and Bommarito's father, Francesco, a longtime Giacalone associate, have been charged with arson and conspiracy.*

Although Soave has had previous links to Detroit mob figures (including an early 1970s partnership with Frank Mudaro, described in 1963 U.S. Senate hearings as a section leader in the Detroit Mafia; earlier, Mudaro had been a business partner of William "Black Bill" Tocco, one of the five ruling dons of the Detroit Mafia), Soave's underlings dismiss Pree's sworn testimony as ludicrous. However, Soave clearly has profited from the demise of Oakland Disposal. In addition to his Warren contracts, Soave has acquired other trash-related businesses from Oakland Disposal's former owners, brothers John and Robert Runco, and City Management is currently trying to get permits to reopen Oakland Disposal's former landfill in Waterford Township.

But, we need not go to the Detroit metropolitan area to observe the questionable dealings of Anthony Soave. In late 1991 Soave's City Management Corp. acquired for $3.8 million a landfill jointly owned by Crawford and Otsego Counties, although another bidder had offered about 50 percent more (and a 50 percent larger environmental clean-up fund). The deal was worked out by the landfill authority's lawyer, James Cotant, who, interestingly, had been a high-school classmate of Soave's director of landfill operations, Paul Sgriccia. Not coincidentally, Soave simultaneously paid $800,000 for the local trash-hauling business of Robert McLachlan, then-chairman of the Crawford County Board of Commissioners responsible for negotiating the landfill sale on behalf of the counties; McLachlan and his son were also given long-term employment contracts by City Management.

Prior to its acquisition by Soave, the Crawford-Otsego landfill had accumulated about $1 million in fines levied by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for violation of environmental laws. Shortly after Soave's purchase, representatives of City Management, the DNR and the Attorney Generalmet in the Lansing office of Senator John Pridnia (R-Hubbard Lake) and, under the watchful eye of Pridnia aide Mark Knudsen, negotiated the waiver of all but $200,000 of these fines (with the understanding that this $200,000 would not be paid to the state but would instead be spent on recycling in Crawford and Otsego counties; much of the expenditure to date has been for capital equipment). To meet in a legislator's office and to include a legislative staff member in the negotiations was unprecedented, but a DNR officer's objections were overruled. Perhaps not surprisingly, Pridnia has been the beneficiary of the financial largess of Soave's political action committee, City PAC.

After heading Michigan's unsuccessful search for a site for a low-level radioactive waste dump to serve a compact of midwest states, in 1991 James Cleary returned to the DNR as deputy director, in charge of solid waste regulation. When Crawford County Commissioner Joe Callewaert objected to the behind-the-scenes circumstances under which Soave's City Management had acquired the Crawford-Otsego landfill, Cleary asked for Callewaert's documentation, received it, and promised "a complete and thorough investigation." Less than five months later Cleary had accepted the Pridnia-negotiated waiver of fines on the landfill, taken early retirement from the DNR and joined Soave as a City Management officer (a position for which Pridnia claims to have recommended him). Perhaps not surprisingly, nothing was heard of Cleary's promised investigation.

Supposedly, there was to be no conflict between Cleary's new position with City Management and his previous role as deputy director of Michigan's DNR because Cleary would be working for City Management's Florida subsidiary, Universal Waste and Transit. However, answering an early 1993 call to Universal Waste's Tampa headquarters, the receptionist initially didn't even know who Cleary was and ultimately advised the caller to contact Cleary at City Management's Detroit headquarters. About the same time, a Lansing lobbyist for the solid waste industry observed that Cleary was regularly in Michigan and was "invaluable to the industry because of his influence" over his former DNR colleagues.

Soave's political affairs are handled by the ex-mayor of Flint, James Sharp, hired by Soave on the advice of the former speaker of the state House of Representatives, Gary Owen (D-Ypsilanti), who recommended Sharp as "a minority that could work in local government in the Detroit area." Reflecting the northern expansion of City Management's interests, Soave recently retained the lobbying services of former state Senator Mitch Irwin (D-Sault Ste. Marie). After the Alpena County Commission rejected a reciprocal solid-waste agreement proposed Crawford County which would have been of obvious benefit to City Management, Irwin called individual Alpena commissioners to chastise them for not granting carte blanche approval of City Management's participation in Alpena County's legally-required 20-year solid waste plan.

Probing the malodorous underbelly of trash, criminal and political, one does, certainly, discover interesting bedfellows.
Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:53 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Solid & Toxic Waste Files; Forensic Intelligence Hub-Page; Stephen P. Dresch, Chairman

Traverse City Record Eagle, July 27, 1993
Trash Baron Networks for Profit
by
Stephen P. Dresch

When trash baron Anthony Soave was questioned about the $200,000 his political action committee (City PAC) gave to state and local politicians and candidates in 1992, he responded, "... we do spend a significant amount of time and energy promoting our business, offering advice, educating opinion leaders about the issues that affect us, and sharing information. I believe the popular term for that is called 'networking.'" Soave's director of government relations, politically-retired Flint mayor James Sharp, said, "We believe that contributions ought to be made to government in order that it [sic] can continue to function, and we do it in concert with the law."

As recent news reports clearly indicate, Soave does have quite a network, and his contributions certainly insure that the permanent class of career politicians "can continue to function" on behalf of powerful backers such as Soave and his City Management Corporation. Consider the following, hardly exhaustive, examples of Soave's networking largess:

Soave hired Sharp as his political operative on the advice of the former speaker of the state House of Representatives, Gary Owen (D-Ypsilanti), who recommended Sharp as "a minority that could work in local government in the Detroit area." Reflecting the northern expansion of City Management's interests, Soave recently retained the lobbying services of former state Senator Mitch Irwin (D-Sault Ste. Marie).

Although state senators in 1992 had not yet reached the midpoints of their four-year terms, Soave's City PAC donated $1,500 to the campaign fund of Senator John Pridnia (R-Hubbard Lake), more than City PAC donated to most 1992 candidates for public office. It may not be coincidental that Pridnia had been very helpful to Soave when City Management purchased a landfill from Crawford and Otsego Counties.

Prior to its acquisition by Soave, the Crawford-Otsego landfill had accumulated about $1 million in fines levied by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for violation of environmental laws. Shortly after Soave's purchase, representatives of City Management, the DNR and the Attorney General met in Pridnia's senate office and, under the watchful eye of Pridnia aide Mark Knudsen, negotiated the waiver of all but $200,000 of these fines (with the understanding that this $200,000 would not be paid to the state but would instead be spent on recycling in Crawford and Otsego counties; much of the expenditure to date has been for capital equipment). To meet in a legislator's office and to include a legislative staff member in the negotiations was unprecedented, but a DNR officer's objections were overruled.

After heading Michigan's ultimately unsuccessful search for a site for a low-level radioactive waste dump to serve a compact of midwest states, in 1991 James Cleary returned to the DNR as deputy director, in charge of solid waste regulation. When Crawford County Commissioner Joe Callewaert objected to the behind-the-scenes circumstances under which Soave's City Management had acquired the Crawford-Otsego landfill, Cleary asked for Callewaert's documentation, received it, and promised "a complete and thorough investigation." Less than five months later Cleary had accepted the Pridnia-negotiated waiver of fines on the landfill, taken early retirement from the DNR and joined Soave as a City Management officer (a position for which Pridnia claims to have recommended him). Perhaps not surprisingly, nothing was heard of Cleary's promised investigation.

Supposedly, there was to be no conflict between Cleary's new position with City Management and his previous role as deputy director of Michigan's DNR because Cleary would be working for City Management's Florida subsidiary, Universal Waste and Transit. However, answering an early 1993 call to Universal Waste's Tampa headquarters, the receptionist initially didn't even know who Cleary was and ultimately advised the caller to contact Cleary at City Management's Detroit headquarters. About the same time, a Lansing lobbyist for the solid waste industry observed that Cleary was regularly in Michigan and was "invaluable to the industry because of his influence" over his former DNR colleagues.

Reflecting the financially important role of local governments in trash-hauling and landfill operations, Soave's City PAC has not ignored candidates for municipal and county offices, pumping more than $43,000 into Detroit races and $90,000 into Wayne County races since 1988. City PAC even remembered to contribute $200 to Larry Mattis for his successful 1992 challenge to recalcitrant Crawford County Commissioner Joe Callewaert. In addition to political contributions Soave has wined, dined and entertained (at swank restaurants, his Palace of Auburn Hills suite and his Florida condo) politicians from virtually the entire length of the I-75 corridor.

However, political contributions and hospitality are not the only bases of Soave's influence over local officials. For example, Soave paid $800,000 for the local trash-hauling business and gave a long-term employment contract to Robert McLachlan, then-chairman of the Crawford County Board of Commissioners responsible for negotiating the sale of the Crawford-Otsego landfill to City Management. When City Management expanded into the Kansas City area, Soave's Lincoln-Mercury dealership in Independence, Missouri, conveniently provided a gratis vehicle to at least one local official.

For most people networking means maintaining friendships and sharing information. Money adds another element that obviously facilitates Soave's networking. While "old-boy" networks may be a questionable basis for public policy, networks created and sustained by the profits directly or indirectly derived from political influence justifiably foster public cynicism concerning the very purposes of government.

Networking, indeed.
Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:55 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Flint trash fight takes to airways with Olympic television ad and robocalls

Print Email Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com By Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com
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on August 09, 2016 at 3:59 PM, updated August 09, 2016 at 4:34 PM


FLINT, MI -- Flint City Councilman Scott Kincaid has been the target of a series of robocalls and television campaigns for taking Mayor Karen Weaver and her administration to court regarding the city's trash dispute.

The television commercials were paid for by Citizens for Accountable Government and were aired during the Olympic Games Tuesday night and says Kincaid "rejected a bid that saves $2 million."

The ad gave out Kincaid's phone number urging people to call Kincaid to tell him to "leave his political games at the curb."

Kincaid says the commercials are a desperate move that have backfired.

"These TV commercials don't bother me because the phone calls that I received are telling me to stay on course," Kincaid said.

Kincaid and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver are at odds over her efforts to award the city's trash contract to Rizzo Environmental Services.

"(Rizzo) sees the potential for making a lot of money by having this contract with the City of Flint," Kincaid said. "They see this as a very lucrative opportunity for them to generate a lot of money. The reason that they're doing this is because I took a stand to protect the citizens of Flint. They don't like the fact that I took the issue to court. Desperate people do desperate things."

Joseph Munem who serves as Director Government Affairs for Rizzo, said the company has nothing to do with the Flint campaign against Kincaid.

"Rizzo Environmental Services PAC is not providing any financial contributions to issues campaigns in Flint," Munem said. "We do, however, applaud any organization pointing out irresponsible and reckless behavior by elected officials interfering in open and honest competitive bids."

A representative for Citizens for Accountable Government could not be reached for comment. The number listed on Michigan Secretary of State documents was disconnected.

Weaver said she did not see the commercials nor did her office have anything to do with the ads on television and the robocalls that rolled out last week.

Kincaid sued Weaver and her administration on July 28 regarding the city's trash contract. The city council later voted 8 1 in an August meeting to join Kincaid in his suit.

Munem contends that Rizzo, who submitted a bid $2 million less than Republic, is the "lowest responsible" bid for the city's trash contract. They were hoping to secure a $17-million-dollar contract to be spread over a 5-year period.

"Rizzo Environmental Services is the lowest responsible bidder, saving Flint taxpayers $2 million over fiver years," Munem said. "We have never before experienced a situation where the numbers and the law so clearly point to awarding a contract to our company and the reckless and irresponsible council members have fought so hard to award the contract to the much higher bidder."

The trash dispute has been ongoing since June when the city council voted against Weaver's recommendation to hire Rizzo to collect Flint's trash. During the June meeting council members said they voted down the recommendation to gather more information on Rizzo. They came back in July and voted against hiring the company and put forth a resolution to renew a contract for the city's current trash collection provider, Republic Services.

Council members said they were concerned about Rizzo's integrity after finding out that the company had ties to former Flint Mayor Woodrow Stanley who serves as Rizzo's consultant. The council also questioned if there are ties between Rizzo and Canada after an article in a Guelph newspaper about an alleged trash dispute in that Candadian city.

Munem said the company does not hold commercial or residential contracts in Canada and that Stanley serves as their consultant.

The Flint trash contract is expected to be a topic of discussion at the Aug. 10 Receivership Transition Authority Board meeting but board chair Frederick Headen sent a letter to City Attorney Stacy Erwin Oakes dated Aug. 1 saying the RTAB is not going to decided who hauls the city's trash and Flint officials should decide and present a resolution to the board.

"The next meeting of RTAB will be held on August 10th," wrote Headen who serves as RTAB chair in the letter. "At that meeting, the RTAB anticipates City officials will present a proposed resolution recommending a waste collection contract, along with any other business properly before the RTAB."

The trash dispute came before RTAB in a June 29th meeting where members said the city will have to figure out who they want to use to haul Flint's trash.

"Since its meeting on June 29th when the issue of a waste collection contract was first present to it, the RTAB has consistently stated that it expected City officials to resolve questions of fact regradig which bidder was the "lowest responsible bidder" as that term is used in the City Charter and Purchasing Ordinance," wrote Headen who asked the administration and council to work out their issues prior to the Aug. 10 meeting.

"In doing so, City officials should comply with the City's Charter, Purchasing Ordinance, an all applicable laws governing competitively bid contracts."

If the dispute is not settled in RTAB, Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farah may have the final say as to who will haul Flint's trash during an Aug. 11 hearing.

Kincaid says he is looking forward to the Aug. 11 hearing.

"I sued the city on an illegal increase in water rates and I prevailed," Kincaid said. "The courts ruled in my favor all the way to the Supreme Court. I don't go to court or file a lawsuit unless I am doing two things which are number one I am doing what is in the best interest of the city and two, I have a strong case."
Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:44 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

State oversight board unhappy with Flint City Council, extends probation

Print Email Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com By Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com
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on August 10, 2016 at 5:11 PM, updated August 10, 2016 at 7:38 PM
FLINT, MI The state-appointed Receivership Transition Advisory Board assigned to manage Flint's financial affairs extended the city council's probationary period saying they are not happy with the council's performance since their power was restored in May.

The board voted unanimously to extend the deadline to December instead of the original October end date.

Council President Kerry Nelson said the RTAB is showing favor to the Mayor Karen Weaver's administration and he plans to call Gov. Rick Snyder to talk about the RTAB's decision to extend the council's probation.

"You step forward and say you are going to extend our probation but you didn't say anything about the mayor," said Nelson. "We cannot just stand by and say it's our fault. The RTAB, the administration, the governor didn't put me in office. The people of the city of Flint did and I'm going to fight...The governor will be hearing from me."

Nelson, along with other council members were at an Aug. 10 RTAB meeting seeking answers for an ongoing trash dispute which also resulted in a disappointment for the council.

The RTAB also voted against hiring a legal consultant for the council regarding a lawsuit filed by Councilman Scott Kincaid regarding the city's trash contract and the board decided not to act on a resolution presented by the council to continue services with the city's current trash provider.

"Clearly when we came in today the deck was stacked," Nelson said. "The RTAB had their mind made up."

The RTAB restored the council's power in May with a 90-day probationer period that would have ended in October.

"It's hard for me to second it," said RTAB board member Joel Ferguson regarding a motion to extend the council's probation. "I think we should extend it at most for two weeks (not months)."

The board voted unanimously in May to restore the council's power in May 26 special meeting.

Both the Mayor and the council lost power under the state financial emergency declaration in 2011. Gov. Rick Snyder restored some of Flint Mayor Karen Weaver's power earlier this year amid Flint's water crisis but the council was still in limbo and didn't know when or if their powers would be restored.

RTAB members said they will monitor the council through December but did say they can resend their decision at anytime taking back the council's power.
Post Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:53 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

RTAB rejects funding approval for city council's trash lawsuit
By Miranda Parnell Wednesday, August 10th 2016


FLINT Mayor Weaver and city council still going toe-to-toe over which trash collection company will be handling Flint's pickup services.

"We're supposed to be making sound financial decisions that make sense for the city of Flint," mayor Weaver told RTAB members. "We're a city that...we can't afford to throw money away."

City council went before RTAB to ask for approval to seek adequate funding for litigation in their court case against the mayor, as well as outside legal counsel.

Both of those resolutions were rejected.

"The administration has two attorneys...we have none," said councilman Kerry Nelson. "They denied the motion to give us an attorney. What does that say to the people of this city?"

While they'll face off again in court, residents are simply worried that despite the turnout, this could lead to future hostility at City Hall.

"They don't know how to put aside personal beef and move on to the next thing," said resident Arthur Woodson.


WNEM
Post Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:03 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

State nixes taxpayer-funded attorney for Flint City Council in trash fight

Print Email Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com By Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com

on August 10, 2016 at 8:32 PM, updated August 11, 2016 at 12:54 AM
FLINT TRASH
State nixes taxpayer-funded attorney for Flint City Council in trash fight
State oversight board unhappy with Flint City Council, extends probation
Flint trash fight takes to airways with Olympic television ad and robocalls
Lawmaker calls for state probe into Flint trash contract dispute
Council joins in lawsuit against Flint mayor in trash contract dispute
All Stories
FLINT, MI The fate of the city's trash collection contract is heading back to court.

But city council won't have the backing of a taxpayer-funded attorney in its battle.

The state-appointed Receivership Transition Advisory Board voted against the city paying for attorneys to represent the Flint City Council in a legal battle against Mayor Karen Weaver and her administration regarding the city's trash contract.

City Council President Kerry Nelson said the council didn't have a chance at the Aug. 10 RTAB meeting where the board showed no favor for the council's stand against Weaver regarding the city's trash contract.

"Clearly the deck was stacked," Nelson said. "They will do what the administration wants to do and trust me the Governor will hear from me."


Flint City Councilman Scott Kincaid has been the target of a series of robocalls and television campaigns for taking Mayor Karen Weaver and her administration to court regarding the city's trash dispute.


The RTAB also decided not to look at a resolution submitted by the council to continue services with Republic Services to haul the city's trash saying it was improperly submitted.

Board members said the decision should be hashed out with Weaver's office and the city council.

"The courts should not be making this decision," RTAB member Joel Ferguson told Councilman Scott Kincaid during an Aug. 10 meeting. "This decision should be made by the mayor and council...I don't understand how you have any standing at all."

Kincaid filed a lawsuit against Weaver and her office for the trash contract dispute on July 28. Since then, the city council voted 8 -1 to join Kincaid in his legal battle with City Councilman Eric Mays being the sole no vote.

RTAB members said the council and mayor should work together to find a solution without costing the city more money including legal fees.

Kincaid did say that he and other council members met with the Mayor's office on Monday Aug. 8 regarding the contract and he added that the meeting was productive.

"I believe there was a very productive meeting on Monday," Kincaid said. "It was about a two hour meeting. Some suggestions were made...There is a conflict between the city administration and the council. We are asking the RTAB to approve legal representation for the city council."

The issue is expected to head to Genesee County Circuit Court on Aug. 11 where Judge Joseph Farah may decide who will haul the city's trash.

The Weaver administration says they are going with the "lowest responsible" bidder that is outlined in the city's charter.

Weaver along with her administration were present at the RTAB meeting to answer questions regarding city businesses including the city's controversial trash contract.

"I am here not to ask for any favor," Weaver told the RTAB on Wednesday. "What I am here today asking is for you to let me do my job. Let me do the job the people elected me to do and for you all to please do your job as well...We are suppose to be making financial decisions for the city of Flint. We are a city where we can't afford money away."

Weaver says if Flint does not move forward with the lower price, it would show that the city is not being financially responsible.

"I'm not asking you to make a decision about who gets this contract," she said. "I'm asking you to let me do my job so we are not back in an emergency management situation."

The trash has been ongoing since June when the council voted against Weaver's recommendation to hire Rizzo Environmental Services to haul the city's trash for $17 million spread over five years. The company bid $2 million lower than the city's current trash hauler, Republic Services.

City council members expressed a number of concerns after Flint Mayor Karen Weaver's office recommended awarding a $17-milliion contract to Rizzo Environmental Services to collect the city's trash including if the company is affiliated with former Flint Mayor and State Rep. Woodrow Stanley.
Republic officials say their bid includes extra amenities making their submission the best deal for residents.

"You have to also consider value added services," said Steve Sielatycki, attorney for Republic Services. "When you add those services, Republic is the lowest bidder. There's this false narrative making its way throughout the community that Rizzo is in fact the lowest responsible bidder."

Sielatycki also pointed to a series of robocalls and television commercials this month targeting Kincaid saying he is being financially irresponsible with the trash contract.

On the other hand, Joseph Munem, who serves as Director of Government Affairs at Rizzo Environmental Services, has the lowest bid and the RTAB's Aug. 10 decisions regarding the trash issue shows that the city council isn't following the city's ordinance.

"Basically, the RTAB today told the city council that they were behaving irresponsibly and it's time for them to come back to the table and start behaving responsibly and within the law," said Munem. "The fact remains whether or not they can do that...The council look extraordinarily foolish here...I'm no lawyer I don't know what the judge would do...I would say that it doesn't look good for the council."

As it stands, the city's extended trash contract ends on Friday.


Flint Mayor Karen Weaver's office issued a July 30 statement announcing that the city no longer has trash service and garbage will not be picked up starting Monday.
for one day this month until a court order forced Weaver to agree with a temporary extension to have Republic to continue hauling the city's trash until Aug. 12.

It is unclear what will happen to the city's garbage if Farah doesn't make a decision on the city's trash.
Post Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:39 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Resolutions City of Flint
www.cityofflint.com/rtab/resolutions

RTAB. Orders; Reports; Resolutions; Public Act ... Resolution to Confirm the City of Flints Support of the Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commissions 2015 ...




Go to RTAB Home and at bottom of page go to meeting agendas and minutes
Post Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:43 am 
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