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Topic: With Flint, it is all about race
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El Supremo

Council president deeply troubled by email in trash dispute

Updated on November 7, 2016 at 7:09 AM Posted on November 7, 2016 at 7:00 AM
Chuck Rizzo Jr
Chuck Rizzo (right) sits with Joseph Munem (left), spokesman for Rizzo Environmental Services. Rizzo founder of Rizzo Environmental Services resigned from the company in the middle of a federal corruption investigation.

By Jiquanda Johnson
FLINT, MI -- Flint City Council President Kerry Nelson said he is troubled by an email between a city official and the ex-head of a garbage company at the center of a federal probe in Macomb County.

The day after Flint City Council voted against hiring Rizzo Environmental Services as the city's trash hauler, Flint City Administrator Sylvester Jones sent then-Rizzo head Chuck Rizzo an email saying the city intended to proceed with a five-year $17.5-million contract with the company.

"On behalf of the residents of Flint, Michigan I would like to thank you for submitting your comprehensive bid for waste collection on May 12, 2016," Jones wrote in a June 28 email timestamped 4:06 p.m. "After a careful review of the bids, it had been determined that Rizzo Environmental Services was the lowest bidder. As a result. It has been determined that the City of Flint intends to contract with Rizzo Environmental Services to collect solid waste, recyclables and assist with blight remediation beginning Friday July 1, 2016."

Council President Kerry Nelson said the email suggests the administration's mind was made up before the issue had even come to council.

Council members voted against hiring Rizzo Environmental Services the day before the email, saying they needed to do more research.

"It is deeply troubling to me that after the council said pause a minute let's do our research and let us look at it, for him to write an email the day after," Nelson said. "That sounds like a done deal. That's deeply troubling."

Jones said the move was to temporarily put a garbage hauler in place because the city's contract with Republic Services was set to expire June 30.

"The purpose of that email was to execute a temporary contract because as of June 30, 2016, there was no contract in place," Jones said. "Please be advised that the City of Flint did not have a waste collection contract in place, effective June 30, 2016. The administration's goal has always been to select the lowest bidder. Rizzo was the lowest bidder. That can be confirmed."

Documents obtained by MLive-The Flint Journal through the Freedom of Information Act show Chuck Rizzo Jr., founder of Rizzo Environmental Services, corresponded with some of Mayor Karen Weaver's top administrators including Flint's purchasing manager Derrick Jones, Jones and Weaver's Chief of Staff Steve Branch.

Weaver says she 'didn't know' ex-Flint mayor part of trash talks despite emails

Rizzo was cc'd in about 50 emails, emailed staff regarding the trash contract and received direct emails from Flint officials.

Most of the emails from Rizzo were for contract clarification and status updates. The founder became more involved in email correspondence in July after the council voted down using his company to haul Flint's trash. Correspondence also increased in September when Weaver's office executed an emergency purchasing order to put Rizzo on Flint streets to haul the city's trash.

Chuck Rizzo could not be reached for comment on the emails.

The council later came back in July and voted against hiring the company all together saying they were questioned Rizzo Environmental Services' integrity and ties to Canada and former mayor Woodrow Stanley.

"I can't understand why the city administrator would do that after the council has said slow down, let us take our time and let us do our research...Here again, there's a process that has to be done and they were not allowing the process to happen," Nelson said. "It doesn't look good...to me he's reassuring them in this email that they would get this contract and I don't know why he would do that. That raises a red flag."

Derrick Jones sent emails to have Rizzo Environmental Services to regarding the city's trash including discussions on an emergency purchasing order executed under Weaver for the company to start hauling the city's trash for two weeks. The emergency purchasing was later extended bringing Rizzo's services to a total of four weeks.

The order finally wrapped up last week.

Other emails included clarification on the 5-year offer haul Flint's trash for an estimated $17.5 million which was $2 million lower than Republic Services' bid. The company also competing for the trash contract.

On July 29, 2016 Rizzo emailed Derrick Jones to assure him that the trash company could start hauling the city's trash.

"Mr. Jones, per our conversation Rizzo is in agreement to do everything under the five-year bid proposal, pricing included, as well as supply a truck to address blight," Rizzo wrote. "We are ready to perform all services on Monday, our supervisor (Arnold Brown) is very familiar with your community and what's needed as he was formally with Republic Waste, along with several other Rizzo supervisors."

A battle is brewing this morning on Flint's north side as two trash haulers set out to collect the city's garbage.
Rizzo stepped down in October after claims of corruption and bribery after officials from Clinton and Macomb townships were arrested and charged for their interactions with the garbage company. GFL Environmental USA Inc., the company that acquired Rizzo Environmental Services, told Detroit Free Press reporters that Rizzo was stepping down immediately.

"In the best interests of the company and our customers, Chuck Rizzo, Jr. has resigned, effective immediately. I will oversee Rizzo's business on an interim basis until further notice," said Patrick Dovigi, president and chief executive of Rizzo's parent company, GFL Environmental Inc., in a written statement according to an Oct. 25 Detroit Free Press article.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver has said she was not offered a bribe but also said she could not speak for anyone else.

Mayor says no bribes offered to her in Flint's controversial trash contract

There were emails regarding orders issued by Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farah, who forced the city to continue contracting with Republic Services to haul Flint's trash while Flint City Council members and the administration worked out their trash dispute.

Rizzo was also cc'd on a number of emails with James Stapleton, who played a role in advising the administration on trash negotiations with Flint City Council.

Stapleton, the president and founder of B&R Consulting of Ann Arbor, provided talking points for officials and gave strategies to the administration in hope of getting the council on board with hiring Rizzo.

Representatives from Rizzo have confirmed that Stapleton has served as consultant for the company.
Post Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:49 am 
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El Supremo

I keep hearing that Woodrow Stanley was questioned by the FBI and one can hardly doubt it. They would have been remiss not to after the allegations that have surfaced. The fact that the consultants e-mails emails, such as the one titled "Proposed scoring system for Flint bid", that went to Weaver staff and advisors suggests that the bid process was far from legitimate. The memo entitled "Talking Points memo accompanied by a document called "Woodrow Outline which the Journal pointed out detailed arguments to move with Rizzo could be construed that active discussions were held by Rizzo and Weaver's staff. Both newly resigned City Administrator Sylvester Jones and Chief of Staff Steve Branch received some of these communications.
Post Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:03 am 
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El Supremo

Terry Bankert
Admin 3 hrs
#Flint- Our corrupt Mayor will be recalled on 11/7/17.
Mayor Karen Weaver signed September 22 2016 an emergency waste collection contract with Rizzo Environmental Services. Thousands of Flint Citizens signed a petition with this quoted language on it. This petition language and the required signatures has caused the 11/7/17 recall election or Weaver.
She must go.
Flint City Council Person Scott Kincaid led the effort that broke this slimy deal in Flint and returned the contract to Republic.
Clearly the recall focuses on the Mayor Weavers actions during this trash dispute. Community leaders have said Everybody fed up and it's about the administration...[we]... have incompetent people downtown. I will add we have corruption downtown.
We know Rizzo has been connected with Public Corruption in Metro Detroit and now Flint.
Mayor Weaver is thought to be corrupt and incompetent because of her actions and the actions of those advisors around her. This was lost in the Mayoral candidate presentations/debates recently.
The Flint Public is understandably skeptical when Public officials align themselves with corrupt municipal contractors . We logically presume it is being done to line the pockets of the administration and her friends by allowing Rizzo to obtain advantage over Republic.
We have a multitude of issues to hold Weaver accountable for but PUBLIC CORRUPTION is the theme of the recall petition.
Flint, we are better than this and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver Must be removed from office.
Thank You to Warrior Woodson for getting this issue on the Flint ballot 11/7/17.
Thank you to all the candidates who have chosen to run for Flint Mayor.
By doing so you demonstrate that Flint is is important and worth fighting for.
I am convinced that Scott KIncaid is our best hope to save Flint from bad decisions made by corrupt leaders.
Scott Kincaid has the best experience base and personal toughness to get the job done.
We have a transition period with a new charter and water issues coming to a head to normalize Flint governance.
For our future we must rid Flint City Hall of the festering corruption. I will vote for Scott Kinciad and help his administration in any way I can.
What will you do?
@TerryBankert 10/25/17
Post Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:19 am 
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El Supremo

Whenever a minority leader, like Stanley or Buchanan and now Weaver, is challenged there begins a barrage of accusations at the City Council. Not so. You cannot overlook the misdeeds of some of these people. Sure Flint has had some bad council people, but to ignore the actions of Flint leadership because of their race is ludicrous. Besides the financial errors o Puckett, Makokha was imprisoned for bribery, Steve Waller took money from the adopt-a-Park program, threatened his now ex-wife with a weapon, employees campaigned on city time and much more. With Stanley it was the money that the LA Times and other newspapers attributed for the recall, Yes it was "black against black"as the deficit kept mounting and eventually reached $38 million. Stanley's last mayoral speech cited "the stench of racism" that would linger in the community for years. Even today some minority Pastors quote that line and attribute Flint's present woes to the recall and not the huge deficit. There are even bizarre theories of how Council caused the recall, although council called for a forensic audit and went to court to have a "phantom" $10 million in revenue placed in the budget by Stanley removed. The auditors ruled some cited revenue streams were possible, but they never were implemented.

City chaos makes good copy (August 15, 2001)

By Andrew Heller

I returned from vacation to numerous questions that popped up while I was away about whether I was thrilled with the attempt to recall the mayor.

Let me answer collectively: Are you nuts? This guy is black gold, copy-wise. Texas tea. And Im Jed Clampett. Sure, the city needs a change in leadership. Sure, Flints a mess and getting worse by the minute. And, sure, the Woodman simply hasnt done the job. But recall him? Hello? Leaders like this dont exactly grow on trees, people.

Im being purely selfish, of course, but it would be just my rotten luck if the recall were to succeed. Woodrow suddenly would have to find some other way to print money without doing a whole lot. (I recommend columnizing.) And there Id be without my ace in the hole, my fallback plan, my when-all-else-fails man.

For instance, when I return from vacation its difficult to write because it takes a few days to work up a healthy anger about anything. So what happened Sunday night as I read through the week of Journals I had missed? Flint fire offenses to cost $151,200.

Oh, sweet mama, I love this man.

The fines, it turns out, are the biggest ever levied by the state against a fire department in Michigan and nearly twice as large as the previous record fine for safety violations. (So if were ever searching for something to put on welcome signs at the city limit. )

According to my favorite newspaper, the state has conducted 1,053 inspections of fire departments since 1989, and in all that time it has found only eight willful violations of Michigan OSHA standards. Wanna guess how many the Flint Fire Department had in this one inspection? Three. Thats huge. Thats like the Detroit Tigers beating someone 94-3. We rule!

And the funniest thing is that several of the violations were for get this not having functioning smoke detectors in several fire stations. No smoke detectors! Thats like a jail not having locks on the cells. Like a well, its like a fire station not having freaking smoke detectors!

In all, the state found 90 safety violations. As the City Councils Scott Kincaid put it: Its absolutely ridiculous that the fire department has that much disregard for firefighters safety.

The problem, it seems, is that no one instituted the sort of routine safety and maintenance programs that just about every other business has had in place for years.

That would seem to bespeak a lack of quality leadership. And guess who appointed the fire chief under whose watch all this happened (or didnt happen, as the case may be)?

Thats right. Your fearless leader, the Woodman.

Its a bit early to blame the fire chief alone, but if the buck in his department stops with him, then what we have here is another example of the mayors inability to pick quality people for crucial jobs.

Lets see, there was James Makokha, the former director of governmental policy who was convicted of bribery charges. Then there was Steven Waller, the former director of parks and recreation, who was convicted of attempted embezzling. And of course, who could forget Marc Puckett, the former finance director who resigned after costing the city a million dollars for screwing up pension funds?

Recall? You dont recall a mayor who brought you all that AND leads the city into financial ruin AND acts as if hes Gods gift to North America. Not from my perspective, anyway.

You give him a lifetime contract.

To contact Andrew Heller, call (810) 766-6116, fax (810) 767-2278 or e-mail aheller@flintjoumal.com. For Heller columns online, visit fl.mlive.com/columns.

Copyright Flint Journal / MLive Media Group (mlive.com). Used with permission.

Files dealing with Marc Puckett
19920114 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
19920225 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
19920303 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
19920305 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
19920319 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
19920623 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
19950701 Politics claimed in citys nonpayment of bill
19960111 Retirement firm accuses official of favoritism
19960403 Folks soaked by water bills may get relief
19970320 A flood of complaints
19980103 Flint: Two honors go to finance director
19990130 $9-million pension fund transfer raises questions
19990202 Retirement panel urges immediate audit of plan
19990203 Retirement board splits over need for independent manager
19990203 Finance director resigns under fire of pension flap
19990210 Former finance director lashes back at critics, hints suit
19990224 Flint to boost pension fund
19990319 Flint sent tax funds to wrong units
19990326 Ex-finance director cashes in on $6,000 in unused vacation time
19990330 Flint could owe state millions some industrial facilities taxes have not been paid since 1996
19990408 Stanley acts on money woes, appoints new finance chief
19990411 Stanley must share blame as part of his plan to fix citys financial woes
19990909 Audit details shortfalls in financial procedures
20000901 Officials walk away, get payouts
20010815 City chaos makes good copy
Post Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:02 pm 
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El Supremo

It is only days from the election and the internet is rife with attack ads.

Kincaid and every recent city council is being blamed for Flint woes. Democratic Kincaid is being tied to Trump and is portrayed with a photoshopped red hate saying "Make Flint poor again". University Park is attributed to Kincaid, which is bizarre as that was always Stanley's project. I was with the first tour when the concept was unveiled.

And activists are also fair game for these sometimes vicious . A facebook writer using the handle of the French anarchist of the early 1800's, Anselme Bellegarrigue, just taunted a rather large listing of activists for the water issue as the F*ck Flint Dynasty. He asked readers to "tune in as we follow these political warriors exploit, co-opt and attempt to capitalize on misery in the name of political activism."

The pro Weaver #Flint also has many more negative postings.
Post Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:22 pm 
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El Supremo

Give Mayor Weaver a Chance added 2 new photos.Like Page
21 hrs
He had 30 chances to help and fix Flint. Give Mayor Weaver a full term . Scott Kincaid you've done enough of nothing..

During the election between Walling and Williamson for Mayor, it became known that Walling had paid Stanley's consulting company $43,000 for campaign work . Williamson's ad agency created the ad of Walling as Stanley's puppet. Must have been a good ad as it keeps being copied.

Walling unsuccessfully ran an ad portraying Weaver as Stanley's puppet. However in light of the Rizzo trash fiasco,it may have been more true than we suspected.

Now groups in support of Weaver have a new Facebook ad against Kincaid that shows a giant hand with strings to 5 council people and that is supposed to represent Kincaid being able to "pull the strings" and manipulate 5 council (all minorities-Poplar, Nelson, Galloway, Davis and Winfrey. Since you need 5 votes on a full council to pass or reject a resolution, that is the magic number of council members certain pastors want to lose in the elections so hopefully Weaver can pass anything she wants through council. Threkheld along with Overton with help from AC Dumas and Eric Mays throw the names of their preferred candidates every Saturday on the WFNT radio shows. You had to know that Mays would not be included as he hijacked the Pastor show last Saturday as well as AC 's.

Nothing beats the original that I believe was a Canadian American agency creation. BUt Williamson must be laughing at all of the imitations.
Post Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:35 pm 
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El Supremo

A poorly written postcard is being mailed in the Mott Park area and residents say quite frankly they are unsure of how to interpret the message. Some are insulted not only by the message but the fake address of WWW.stupidregisteredvoter.com.
The postcard starts out with "You signed a petition to recall Mayor Weaver for signing a contract."
By the way it saved you as the taxpayer(FOUR MILLION DOLLARS)

In small letters it states "the last election on Aug 4th, of this year only 7% of you voted .That means only 7out of a 100 of you voted in this ward."


I couldn't tell whether residents were more insulted by the message or the poor

While the top of the card featured the City Seal, a photo of Weaver, and then the Flint water tower, residents were puzzled about the photo of what might be the ARK.

I think I might chalk this up to one of the most bizarre campaign ads I have come across.
Post Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:38 am 
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El Supremo

City Journal
Order is what makes urban life possible. Civilitythe art of living in a cityis not innate.

Public Order Makes City Life Possible
In a culture that no longer teaches civility or citizenship, police have a greater burden than ever.
Learn More
Post Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:40 am 
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El Supremo

Donna Ashburn-Poplar added 2 new photos.
6 hrs Flint
EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT: Civil Rights and Voter Intimidation at the hands of Mayor Weaver, AC Dumas and Aoni "Gil" Glcreast. THIS POST IS LONG BUT ITS WROTH READING
To my family, friends, facebook family, and ALL God's Children and others: Mayor Weaver authorized AC Dumas and her campaign committee to mail the attached racially offensive, Civil Rights and Voter Intimidation campaign material to the 5870 certified Flint registered voters, who signed the Recall Petition against her. We must remember that for over 2-months Weaver authorized police to be used to knock on the doors of those who signed the Recall Petition against her, questioning them about signing their signature on the Recall Petition, and in some cases threatening to take them to jail, including a 91 year old man. Please, open your eyes and look closely at Weaver's attached campaign materials, and ask yourselves what does this material depict and what is the message, and how does it make you feel? Let me tell you how it makes me feel. I am outraged and mad as hell. This type of campaign material is insensitive to the multitudes of people who where enslaved, taken forcefully away from their families, beaten unmercifully, terrorized, raped, spit on and killed at the hands of slave masters and hate groups. Weaver's campaign materials demonstrates her arrogance, self entitlement and total disregard to those who COURAGEOUSLY gave up their lives fighting against slavery, Civil Rights and Voter injustice. And for Weaver to mail this campaign material depicting African American Flint City Council Leaders (with the exception of Eric Mays) as Councilman Scott Kincaid's slaves, is demoralizing, degrading and inexcusable. And for Weaver to use on this campaign material a fake website address-www.stupidregisterdvoter.com, in essence calling the Flint "Voters" who signed the Recall Petition against her and those who didn't vote for her STUPID VOTERS, is a direct insult to All voters and clearly the work of bullies and cowards. Weaver an African American woman and Mayor with a Academic PHD, should understand our struggles as Black people during slavery and as stored in the unforgettable memories in our minds and as written in Black History Books. This disgusting campaign material that she is mailing depicting Black Flint City Council Leaders as Councilman Scott Kincaids slaves hanging on a rope is as offensive as a white man calling blacks the N word. In essence what Weaver is saying about our Black Flint City Council Leaders, who have publicly refused to support her, Gilcreast and Snyder's wrong and bad decisions is that they are HOUSE Negroes. Far as I am concerned Weaver is just as bad as Donald Trump #45. And trust me Weaver is NOT the victim, the people of Flint and OUR tax dollars are the true VICTIMS under her, Gilcreast and Synder's leadership. And for the record if the Rizzo Trash Contract would have passed, there would NOT have been a $4MM dollars savings. the TRUTH is 21 Union Workers would have lost their jobs, and Woodrow Stanley who is a Consultant to Rizzo would have earned approximately $1.7MM dollars if this contract deal had passed. In Weaver's attempt to help Woodrow Stanley she used OUR tax dollars to pay the legal fees to fight in the courts in her attempt to get the courts to order the City Council to approve the Rizzo contract, but the court wouldn't do it. And now she is back in court spending over $400,000 thousand dollars of OUR tax-dollars in legal fees to an Attorney from Detroit in her and Snyder's desperate attempt to get the courts to force the City Council to approve a 30-year water source contract with Detroit -GLWA, that will cost the tax payers more than $12MM dollars per year and a 6% increase in water rates every year. Please, my family, my friends and Facebook family DON'T get blinded by Weaver's race, and gender and her playing the innocent victim game and that the recall is all about Weaver being Black and a female. Do your HOMEWORK and check out the facts. Its true that the government has sent Millions of dollars of OUR tax dollars to aid in the Water Crisis, but a great deal of OUR tax money has gone to the United Way, American Red Cross and the Community Foundation and other charities and some of the money has gone directly to Flint and under the control of Weaver and Gilcreast. The question that we should be posing is HOW is this money being spent? I guess that we will get the answer to how Weaver and Gilcreast are spending the millions of dollars that has gone directly to Flint, when Weaver's City Administrator, Sylvester Jones, who recently and abruptly resigned while Weaver was out of town take the witness stand. Also, this campaign material insults the 93% of registered voters who didn't vote in the August primary election, and the campaign material uses AC Dumas favorite saying "take your souls to the polls and vote" Weaver, AC Dumas and her committee must not believe in her leadership, because in their rush to degrade the Black Flint City Council Leadership and to intimidate the Voters of Flint, they failed to tell the people in the campaign material to vote for Weaver. I pray that those who are going to vote in the Tuesday, Nov 7th General Election DON'T let race and gender be your determining factor. Think on this and be Blessed.
Post Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:05 pm 
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