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Topic: "First the water, now the trash"
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Articles on Munem describe him as a political consultant known for dirty tricks and dark money. Deborah Whyman was a client of Munems when she was formerly a Michigan representative. Munem only admits to contacting Whyman, but denies any knowledge of the attacks.

Whyman e-mail to Damon Maloney, then with channel 12:
"We are shocked by the scandalous actions of 8 members of the Flint Council to prevent the tax payers of Flint from realizing a $2 million savings in the bid process, which also amounts to a $4 million savings from what the current contractor is charging the city."

The attacks intensified during the Olympics again touting the alleged $2 million i savings and his taking of mayor Weaver to court. The ads gave out Kincaid's phone number and told recipients to "tell him to leave his political games at the curb". As to Kate Fields the message was "desperate people do desperate things."
Post Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:09 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Whyman's group has also been linked to the Western Michigan blogger Brandon Hall, who was convicted on campaign related charges for falsifying campaign signatures.
He is best known for his false attacks on Genesee County Drain Commissioner jeffrey Wright.

Politically Speaking-Centrist Political Communication by Chad Selweski commented on Joe Munem.
May 7,2011
"It's funny how, where Joe muem goes, trouble follows."

Selweski'and his position was joined by an Op-Ed piece in the Oakland Press over Munem being hired as the Chief Deputy Clerk for West Bloomfield Township Clerk Cathy Shaughnessy. Together they were said to have waged a political battle against the Supervisor Michelle Ureste and Trustee Steve Kaplan who once served as one of Macomb's top prosecutors.


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:33 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:30 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Munem stirs the pot on the other side of Dequindre - Politically Speaking
https://www.politicscentral.org/munem-stirs-the-pot-on-the-other-side-of-dequindre/
In an op-ed piece published Friday in our sister paper, The Oakland Press, Munem was called out for his repeated attacks on township officials by two board members Supervisor Michele Ureste and trustee Steve Kaplan, who served for years as one of Macomb County's top prosecutors. Here's what they had to say: ...
Attacks from township clerk unnecessary - The Oakland Press
www.theoaklandpress.com/article/OP/20110303/NEWS/303039889
Mar 3, 2011 - By Michele Ureste and Steven Kaplan ... She admitted in a recent newspaper interview that Munem has served as her personal campaign and political strategist, and now she benefits in this regard ... Michele Economou Ureste is the supervisor of West Bloomfield Township and Steven Kaplan is a trustee.
West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees trade jabs as judge ...
www.theoaklandpress.com/article/OP/20110304/NEWS/303049860
Deputy Clerk Joseph Munem wrote the press release and issued it to local media. "This is 2012 election mudslinging and she can't do mudslinging on township time. It's like stealing," Economou Ureste said. She added that she and Kaplan are paying for their own attorney and told board members previously that it was a ...
Post Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:32 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Munem was once the political strategist for Shaughnessy and it was alleged she was now using taxpayer funds to pay for his services in a series of false attacks on these West Bloomfield Township officials. Munem allegedly released taxpayer resources (in the form of press releases) to promote the Police Chief and suggesting her adversaries wanted to remove him although the Township Board had not authorized the release of any press releases.

In 2014 Silweski commented how Munem as "a political consultant he produced some of the most outrageous campaign literature ever seen in Macomb County' and how Munem was now a Public relations guy for a trash hauling company. (Rizo Services).

Silweski noted how munem's salesmanship skills are still intact. "If you can sell people on politicians that's not a bad bit of background and experience for making people feel comfortable about garbage."
Post Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:53 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

In 2016 the Detroit Free Press story told how Waste Management lost a large portion of their customer base after 2011 when Rizzo lost a large portion of their customers during the time Rizzo experienced rapid growth, Rizzo grew from 21 to 55 communities plus the northern portion of Detroit. In 2006 Waste Management had 45 communities and now had only 21.

Waste Management spokesman Tom Horton told the Free press "in some instances, bid processes we've certainly never seen before- like allowing bids to be revised and resubmitted, were observed."

Sounds like Flint to me.

While then Transportation Director Kay Muhammad went to City Council and RTAb with her complaints that the bid process violated the purchasing ordinances and that Rizzo was the only company able to get a second interview an to amend their bid , the public only heard $2 million savings.
Post Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:18 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Anyone who has ever attended a council meeting has heard the public complain of blight and the dumping of trash. When Mayor Stanley cut the parks department staff drastically in the late 90's budget cuts because of a growing deficit, the conditions of the parks suffered severely. The high grass in the North Flint Ophelia Bonner Park was cited in numerous articles nationwide as contributing to the infamous shooting, murder, rape and robbery incident involving three white oakland County teens.

Many Parks were mowed only on the outer edges while the interior remained untamed. Trash was dumped on the parking lots. Along side Bassett Park residents just walked their grass clippings, branches and other yard debris across the street to be dumped.

Some groups like that of Tony Palladeno Jr and his friends used their own tractors and equipment to mow and maintain Kearsley Park,once considered a jewel in the crown of Flint's park system.
Post Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:41 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Even in recent times, the street east of the entrance to Civic Park School was so filled with trash that entrance was impossible. Once a historic neighborhood, other streets in Civic park were laden with trash and some abandoned homes were covered with gang graffiti.

Trash at abandoned homes was common as was the trash left after evictions. pickers often sorted through and opened bags of trash and threw their discards on the ground.

An yet when confronted with the Flint administration allowing Rizzo to eliminate major portions of the blight plan, RTAB Board member Joel Ferguson only focused o the false narrative of saving $2 million. He called the rest of the bid proposal "knick knacks".

That false narrative of a $2 million saving by using Rizzo even led a State Representative Aaron Miller of from Sherman Township to ask for a state probe of the Flint Council
Post Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:59 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

If Rizzo had won the awarding of the contract, there would have had to be change orders to facilitate any blight control issues or new contracts would have to be initiated.
Or the residents would have to pony up the money to deal with the trash on their own. The Land Bank might have to substantially increase the cost of litter abatement in Flint.

Ferguson also downplayed the arguments by council and Muhammad about the improper procedures in the bid process. he told Muhammad that her committee was no more than advisory . In the end the Mayor and the administration make the decision. Committees are not absolute. Flint is making the decision to leave money on the table.

Kincaid argued how the administration "always seems to wait until the deadline to get things done and then asks RTAB for special meetings and emergency meetings." If you want a role in the contracts, then you need to be in the vetting process" Kincaid said you (RTAB)are relying on shear numbers and nothing else.
Post Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:22 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Kincaid argued that the 3 year bid by Rizzo had no intangibles, no blight trucks or additional dumpsters. Rizzo said not available and not part of the specifications.

Ferguson then advised the council at the meeting that the 3 year was off the table as City Manager Sylvester Jones was presenting a new 5 year deal, a 3 year plus 2 extensions, Finney note how this new proposal was not one of the previous three options.

That had ever even gone to council and Wantwaz Davis was upset that this was the first time hearing about this proposal. Jones was very inexperienced in the manner in which government and continued to operate as though the vast emergency manager powers given to the City manager still applied although repealed.

Galloway had told RTAB she did not believe the appointees made by Weaver had the appropriate experience at which Ferguson ha brought up the people in the meeting that looked like them (black)and how other experiences were sometimes better than education. Thus Jones was approved. Jones has since resigned after admitting to some he was overwhelmed in the position.
Post Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:39 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Galloway challenge Ferguson. "You made your point clear." You said RTAB supported the Mayor,, Galloway said to the board. She went on to state how Chaiman Headen had called her saying RTAB was not designed for that purpose. You don't speak for RTAB or on behalf of RTAB, said Galloway.She added that she was "appalled by the Rizzo representative (Stanley)speaking to the administration as if he's- I asked him are you part of the administration

After Chuck Rizzo addressed RTAb,Kate Fields spoke how the majority of council believed the bid process was corrupted and compromised from the beginning. She based her opinion on how only Rizzo was allowed a second interview with the evaluation team and then allowed to amend their bid in violation of the charter and ordinance. Also the administration never developed a recommendation prior to the resolution. She wanted the AG's office and the FBI to respond.

Previously Rizzo had stated he had purchased a fleet of 20 trucks for Flint. Fields said he must have had believed he had the contract. Rizzo was now saying he had 450 trucks so some were always available.
Post Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:32 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

http://www.flinttalk.com/viewtopic.php?t=12381

Topic: New lawsuit about Weaver's ethics and staff-

untanglingwebs
El Supremo

2016 0711 Council 2

subject: Council
From: jstaples@att.net
date: 7-11-2016 6:33 p,
To: Sylvester Jones
Steve Branch
"Gil" Gilcreast <gilgilcreast@gmail
cc: Woodrow Stanley <wordswithwoods@aol.com
Joe munem-Al Jordon-Chuck Rizzo- kristen Moore

All: I hope your days are going well.
FYI: I spoke with gil early this morning and he informed me the administration was not intending to bring the garbage resolution tonight and that he was shooting for a special meeting Wednesday or Frida of the week as a result we are not up there.
Within the last couple of hours we received word that council may be trying to add it themselves, (which Wood and others believe is procedurally impossible.). In any event with the administration firm, city statutes being what the are with respect to low bid language and the RTAB fully prepared to to back the administration, I'm hoping you guys don't have endure yet another buffoonery filled night.

Tomorrow, I will forward to Kristen and copy each of you the advance material we discussed Friday so an orderly transition to better move cost effective service can continue. When the special meeting is scheduled please let me know so I may inform the team
Thanks to all,
jim
sent via blackberry from T Mobile
Post Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:48 pm
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

This e-mail has been posted as one of the many e-mails sent between the city and representatives of Rizzo environmental


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


Ron Fonger | rfonger1@mlive.com By Ron Fonger | rfonger1@mlive.com
on November 02, 2016 at 3:18 PM, updated November 02, 2016 at 6:09 PM
FLINT, MI -- Mayor Karen Weaver said she didn't know former Mayor Woodrow Stanley was working as a consultant for Rizzo Environmental Services before she recommended the city council vote to give the company a multi-million-dollar garbage contract here.

But documents obtained by MLive-The Flint Journal through the Freedom of Information Act show her top aides received at least two emails from Stanley on the subject of garbage before the council's vote and show the ex-mayor and state legislator was invited to conference calls and strategy meetings with city and Rizzo officials in the following weeks.

Rizzo is the company at the center of a corruption and bribery investigation by the FBI, accused of having paid cash bribes to at least two Macomb County officials in exchange for help in gaining waste-hauling contracts there.


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

Weaver has said she was not offered bribes from the company. She withdrew her strong support for a five-year, $17.5-million contract for Rizzo after the FBI probe became public.

Flint's Receivership Transition Advisory Board on Oct. 26 approved a one-year contract with Republic Services to haul Flint's trash, but before that deal was struck, emails show Stanley's involvement in discussions promoting Rizzo inside city hall.



A months-long dispute over the contract began after the council voted 5-3 on June 27 against Weaver's recommendation for Rizzo.

However, city records show Stanley forwarded information by email to Steve Branch, Weaver's chief of staff, regarding the garbage contract days before the city council rejected the proposal.


Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says she was not offered any bribes from the company hoping to nab a multi-million-dollar contract to haul Flint's trash.

The June 22 email makes reference to a letter written by another Rizzo consultant "in case it is necessary" and appears to have been sent to top officials at Rizzo as well as Stanley. However, the attached letter was apparently not forwarded to Branch.

Kristin Moore, Weaver's director of communications, told The Journal on June 29, two days after the council's vote, that the mayor was "not aware of any consulting agreement between Mr. Stanley and Rizzo Services" after questions about his involvement were raised by city council members.

Rizzo officials confirmed the same day that the ex-mayor was working for the company as a consultant.

Moore said Tuesday, Nov. 1, that Weaver has restated she was not aware of any arrangement between Stanley and Rizzo.


The state-appointed board overseeing the city's finances has taken the final step to end an ongoing trash dispute in Flint.

Stanley said in an email to The Journal, "My interest all along was to assist in making sure the residents of Flint received the best value with trash collection. Rizzo offered a significant savings ($2 million). That's the bottom line."

However, Stanley did not comment on a garbage-related email sent the day after the council's vote to officials at Rizzo and Weaver's top advisors -- City Administrator Sylvester Jones, Branch, volunteer Aonie Gilcreast and Moore.

The email was from James Stapleton, the president and founder of B&R Consulting of Ann Arbor, and included "talking points" in an attachment marked "Woodrow outline" and details arguments to move ahead with a contract with Rizzo.

Joe Munem, a spokesman for GFL Environmental USA Inc., confirmed Stapleton was a Rizzo consultant and that the company had an ongoing relationship with him.

Stapleton, a trustee at Eastern Michigan University and former Detroit Tigers executive, would not comment on his role in pushing to secure a waste contract in Flint for Rizzo, but emails show he was active in discussions with representatives of both the company and the city.

Records released to MLive-The Flint Journal also showed the city administrator received an email from Stanley on March 31 -- nearly three months before the council's vote -- titled "proposed scoring system for Flint bid."


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.

The message in the email makes reference to a "sanitation bid scoring chart," which was included as an attached document. The document showed how many points could be awarded to bidders based on the price of their proposal, qualifications, past involvement with similar projects and the age of the company's fleet.

Moore said in an email to The Journal the city has no record that Jones ever responded to the email.

The city's spokeswoman added that being sent a communication doesn't equate to acceptance of the content.

"Again, just because someone sent me something doesn't mean anything ... As members of city staff we get all types of emails from all types of people. We cannot control who emails us and what those emails may contain. Information that seems relevant is passed on, information that does not is disregarded," Moore said.

Flint Councilman Scott Kincaid said Stanley's work for Rizzo was no secret inside city hall.

Stanley met with him in the first quarter of 2016 about the city's garbage contract and whether he would support putting the job back out for bid because a previous deal with Republic allowed for it, Kincaid said.

The councilman said he and other council members continued to hear from Stanley as he advocated for a new deal on trash pickup and doesn't understand how Weaver could not have been aware of Stanley's connection to Rizzo.

"Too many people knew" for Weaver not to know, he said. "They all knew."
Post Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:37 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Local contractors echoed the concerns of former Flint Transportation Director,Kay Muhammad, in their criticism of the bidding process for the Fast Start program as woefully inadequate.

On Sunday June 12, 2016 Journal Quick Hits , page A5, the Journal wrote "Contractors criticize Fast Start bidding" Baru Belin, executive vice president of Great Lakes Facility Management, told the Journal " This language is so outdated that its absurd-especially for the city of Flint."

The nearly 100 contractors who were at the pre bid meeting expressed concern that they would be shut out of the bidding process for the lead pipe replacement for about 500 homes. Their concerns were the upfront costs, fees as well as other issues.

Muhammad had told RTAB the bid form was wrong an was boiler plate,filled with errors and even had sections that violated the city purchasing ordinance.
Post Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:11 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

I met Baru Belin at Comcast. I had the highest respect for him then and have watched him and his business ventures grow. Wish there were more ethical entrepreneurs like him.
Post Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:14 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

I met Baru Belin at Comcast. I had the highest respect for him then and have watched him and his business ventures grow. Wish there were more ethical entrepreneurs like him.
Post Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:34 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

What we know about Flint's erupting waste controversy ...
https://www.wastedive.com/news/what-we-know-about-flints-erupting...
Feature What we know about Flint's erupting waste controversy While Republic, Rizzo and city council settle contract chaos, we outline ..PDATE, Oct. 25: The Flint City Council voted unanimously to support a new $3.74 million contract with Republic Services on Oct. 24, as reported by MLive. Councilman Eric Mays, who had sided with Mayor Karen Weaver in support of Rizzo Environmental Services, abstained from the vote. The one-year contract would begin on Nov. 12 with the option to extend into 2018.

Rizzo's involvement in an ongoing federal corruption investigation was cited as a factor in this decision by Councilman Scott Kincaid. He and seven other council members also agreed to withdraw their lawsuit against Weaver and her administration related to the contract negotiations.

Final approval of the contract is still required from the Receivership Transition Authority Board. No date has been set for their next meeting

UPDATE, Oct. 20: Flint city officials are preparing to offer Republic Services a one-year contract, as reported by MLive. The new contract would cost $3.74 million per year and run until Nov. 12, 2017, with the option to extend.

City Council President Kerry Nelson told MLive that the council came to a "tentative deal" and is expected to vote on a resolution at their next regularly scheduled meeting on Oct. 24. Final approval from the city's Receivership Transition Authority Board will then be required.

Representatives of Mayor Karen Weaver's office didn't say whether Rizzo Environmental Services' involvement in a federal corruption investigation had anything to do with this decision. Both companies have been collecting Flint's waste for more than two weeks now and it's still unclear whether Rizzo will be paid for its services during that time.

UPDATE, Oct. 13: Judge Joseph Farah declined to grant an injunction request filed by Republic Services last week to prevent the city from terminating its contract which runs until Nov. 11, as reported by MLive. Both Republic and Rizzo Environmental Services technically have contracts to collect the city's waste and have been doing so concurrently, though Mayor Karen Weaver believes a prior ruling from the Michigan Court of Appeals says otherwise.

While Farah said he couldn't grant an injunction to prevent contract breach, he did disagree with Weaver's interpretation of the other ruling and said Republic would likely be successful against the city if it voided the company's contract. Farah also had strong words for the politicians on both sides of this dispute.

No settlement has been reached yet.

UPDATE, Oct. 12: Disagreements have broken out among the Flint City Council over how to resolve the contract issue. At a council meeting on Oct. 10, Councilman Eric Mays called his fellow members "stupid" for their stance in the negotiations, as reported by MLive.

Mays is the only council member to side with Mayor Karen Weaver's support of Rizzo Environmental Services, while the others support Republic Servcies. Though Mays asked for an update on the negotiations, the other members said it would be inappropriate to say anything in public due to ongoing litigation with Weaver. Both Republic and Rizzo continue to collect Flint's waste and no resolution has been announced.

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UPDATE, Oct. 6: Councilman Scott Kincaid indicated he may withdraw the lawsuit against Mayor Karen Weaver and her administration, as reported by MLive. He noted, however, that he will continue to table items from her office while the contract issue is worked out.

"The court can't order (the city to hire anyone) and we couldn't get a resolution. If the administration wants to do an emergency purchase every couple of weeks ... that's on them," Kincaid said to MLive.

Eric Mays, the council member supporting Mayor Weaver in the battle, noted he is asking for a public meeting to discuss the trash issue. Overall, an agreement has not yet been reached.

UPDATE, Oct. 4: As of Oct. 3 a state-appointed arbitrator has been brought in by Judge Joseph Farah in an attempt to resolve three days of stalled negotiations in court. Both Rizzo Environmental Services and Republic Servcies were collecting waste again yesterday and, as reported by ABC12, at least one resident waited to put the trash out until her preferred hauler arrived. The dispute has even spilled over into the faith community, with a group of local pastors calling for Councilman Scott Kincaid to apologize to Mayor Karen Weaver for comments he made about her position in the negotiations last week.

Republic said no update was currently available and Rizzo could not be reached for comment.

UPDATE, Sept. 30: Both Rizzo Environmental Services and Republic Services plan to collect Flint's waste again today after a ruling from the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed an August filing by Genesee County Circuit Judge Joseph Farah. Mayor Karen Weaver has claimed this as a short-term victory.

"I am pleased that the State Court of Appeals has again ruled that I indeed had the authority to utilize my power as Mayor when I asked Rizzo Environmental Services, the lowest responsible bidder, to start collecting trash in Flint and requested that Republic discontinue its services. In light of todays developments, I have asked that crews from Rizzo temporarily resume collecting trash in the city," said Weaver in a statement.

The Court of Appeals has yet to rule on a temporary restraining order that was filed by Farah on Sept. 26.

"It is our understanding that today's Court of Appeals ruling does not impact the Temporary Restraining Order on interim collection service, which remains in effect. We plan to provide normal waste collection service on Friday, and remain optimistic that we will soon enter into a long-term service agreement with the City," said Russ Knocke, vice president of communications and public affairs with Republic Services, in a statement.

Weaver, members of her administration and select council members are set to meet again in court today to continue negotiations for a long-term contract.

***
Background
Flint, MI has been in the news for many reasons in 2016, though the recent ongoing dispute over the city's waste contract may the hardest story to follow yet.

Republic Services has been collecting Flint's waste since early 2013. The decision to continue with Republic Services or start a new contract with Rizzo Environmental Services first came before the Flint City Council in June. While eight of the nine council members supported Republic, Mayor Karen Weaver and the ninth member supported Rizzo.

Since June, this dispute has led to collections being temporarily canceled, calls for a state investigation, a public records lawsuit, multiple legal motions by elected officials, an attempted termination of Republics temporary contract, one day where both companies were collecting the same routes and much more.

Republic currently has a temporary contract to continue collections until Nov. 11. Genesee County Circuit Judge Joseph Farah has signed a temporary restraining order preventing Weaver from hiring Rizzo or ending Republic's agreement. Farah required Weaver, city officials and council members to report to court this week until an agreement can be reached.

In an effort to clarify details around contract costs the main point of contention Waste Dive spoke to both Rizzo and Republic about information their bids contain. Republic also provided a Sept. 13 memo which was sent by the companys legal counsel to Derrick Jones, Flints purchasing manager, for further information.

Mayor Weaver's office could not be reached for comment. Councilman Scott Kincaid, who has been a leading proponent for Republic, could also not be reached for comment.

Terms and costs
According to the memo, Republic, Rizzo and Emterra Environmental USA submitted bids for a five-year contract with the city in the spring. The city administration had these bids evaluated by three officials: Purchasing Manager Jones, Transportation Director Kay Muhammad and Waste Services Coordinator Heather Griffin. They evaluated these bids between late May and early June based on multiple factors. Republic and Rizzo received the same score for cost, but Republic came out on top with a total of 80 points. Rizzo received 76 and Emterra received 69.

Republic bid $19.52 million, Emterra bid $18.51 million and Rizzo bid $17.42 million. Weaver backed Rizzo as the "lowest responsible bidder," citing the $2 million difference as the main factor in a city with dire financial constraints.

"We're offering a $2 million savings over five years, over the next lowest bidder," Joseph Munem, director of government affairs at Rizzo, told Waste Dive. "'Lowest responsible bidder' is a very narrowly defined descriptor, of which we are."

"There really is no $2 million savings with Rizzo." - Hicks
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Republic and the eight council members dispute this claim.

"There really is no $2 million savings with Rizzo," Gary Hicks, municipal services manager for Republic told Waste Dive. "When you read the city's own purchasing ordinance and you look at the bids that were submitted you find that Republic is the lowest responsible bidder."

Republic's Sept. 13 memo argues that Rizzos bid was "deficient in several ways" due to multiple factors.

Landfill access
The city's invitation to bid requested that the selected hauler allow residents with a city permit to dispose of up to one ton of debris for free at their landfill. According to a cover sheet in the memo, dated May 5, Rizzo noted that its list of services "does not include free dumps for residents."

Based on an assumed value of $35 per household, Republic says its landfill service is worth $1.34 million annually. The company argues that, in fact, this makes their bid less expensive.

"It is a true differentiating factor between everyone that bid," said Hicks.

Rizzo argues that it is now willing to offer unlimited bulk pick-up.

"Why in the world would anybody want to load up stuff in a truck and take it to the dump when we're going to pick up from them at the curb?" said Munem. "This is a specious argument."

Republic told Waste Dive it will also offer unlimited bulk pick-up at the curb.

Providing a blight plan
The city asked bidders to provide a blight remediation plan for dealing with large amounts of illegal dumping and waste from abandoned homes.

Republic proposed dedicating a collection truck and crew full-time to working with Flint's blight elimination division. The truck would have special identification and the crew would have special uniforms. Hicks says this was inspired by challenges crews currently face because they can't enter private property to collect illegally dumped items. Republic hopes that advertising this truck's special status and coming through neighborhoods regularly will encourage residents to bring their waste to the curb instead. City officials valued this at approximately $155,000 per year, though Republic argues that its true value is approximately $238,000.

Rizzo's original bid offered two 40-yard roll off containers per month at an estimated value of $12,000. The company has since said it would also include a clam truck and rear-load packer, along with staff. As Republics memo notes, the city's purchasing ordinance doesn't allow for bids to be altered or corrected once submitted. Rizzo says the change was a clarification as requested by the city, and not a modification. Rizzo also notes its experience dealing with illegal dumping in Detroit as another reason why it has the better plan.

"This is a fantasy that Republic is selling," said Munem. "By offering that clam truck and also by picking up bulk items unlimited we are offering the only truly significant blight remediation."

Ripple effects of the lead crisis
Based on these two factors, Republic argues that the true cost of each bid is different than has been reported.

"While Rizzo's base pricing is slightly lower, this is not surprising for a base bid that is missing several minimum bid requirements," reads the memo.

Since this process began in June, the city and council members have gravitated toward negotiating a contract for three years rather than five. According to Republic, when free landfill access and blight remediation are factored in it has the lowest bid for either timeframe.

For a three-year contract the company says that its total bid would be $11.59 million as compared to Rizzos $11.89 million. For a five-year contract, using this logic, Republics total bid would be $19.52 million as compared to Rizzos $22.12 million.

This question of which bid is in fact lowest matters more in Flint than most other cities. The city is still under the guidance of a Receivership Transition Advisory Board and is dealing with major infrastructure costs and consequences related to lead-tainted water.

Weaver cited this as the reason for her stance at a town hall meeting on Sept. 28.

"If you want to know what Im fighting about, some money, I thought about $2 million for more lead service line replacement, and $2 million is a lot," said Weaver, as reported by East Village Magazine. "I dont know why nobodys mad that they [Republic] have been charging us $2 million more."

"You have an irresponsible city council that is in a power struggle with the mayor." - Munem
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While the majority of council members disagree with this reasoning, Rizzo sides with the mayor's connection to the lead crisis.

"You have an irresponsible city council that is in a power struggle with the mayor," said Munem. "One would think that responsible elected officials would be looking to find every spare penny to sink into resolving that problem."

Hicks noted that Republic played a large role in assisting with the recycling of water bottles by increasing collection frequencies and other services.

"We continue to go out every day and try and provide the best service for the residents of the city of Flint that we can," he said.

Waste Dive will update this story as the situation develops.

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Post Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:14 pm 
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