Monday, November 9, 2015

Council rejects biosolids removal contract. Mayor: Council "obstructionist"

Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber blasted the city council at a press conference last week after the city council rejected a contract to remove biosolids. The city faces a December 1, 2017 deadline under an EPA consent decree. The city council rejected a contract with Denali and Garrett Enterprises after a heated debate between the Mayor and council members.

Mayor Yarber said he has attempted to move the city forward only to "see our efforts obstructed. He said the council "obstructed efforts" to change depository banks and renew the Comcast franchise agreement. The Mayor the council's vote ensured that it would not be able to meet the consent decree deadline. The agreement states the EPA will fine the city $1,000 per day for each day the city goes past the deadline. The recommendation to hire Denali/Garrett generated some controversy as Socrates Garrett, owner of Garrett Enterprises, was a major contributor to Mayor Yarber's campaign.   The city only received two bids for the contract.  The companies submitting bids were Denali/Garrett and Synergo/Fisher Transportation.

Mayor Yarber said the council could not vote on a contract for the biosolids removal for another year since the council rejected the contract twice. The council can vote on another contract within a year but only if two-thirds of the council votes to suspend the ordinance. He also said that the recommended contractor (Denali/Garrett) could not obtain the contract in a year as it had been rejected twice although the council could vote to suspend the ordinance as well.

The Mayor also said the attorney for competing contractor Synergo, Wilson Carroll, was texting messages and questions to Ward 1 Councilman Ashby Foote during the debate. Councilman Foote told JJ that the questions he asked were about the consent decree and RFP process. He said they were questions he had been wanting to ask for quite some time.  He said he had known Synergo attorney Wilson Carroll for twenty-five years. 

The video posted below shows the city council arguing with the Mayor over the contract. Councilman Dekeither Stamps opened the discussion by stating the contract needed to be addressed in the work session it was the first time it had been in a council meeting to be discussed. Mr. Stamps was absent at the September 17 meeting of the City Council. The council rejected the contract on a 3-1 vote. Oddly enough, Councilman Priester voted to approve the contract on September 17 but voted to reject it on November 3. A deputy city attorney told the council that city ordinances force the city to wait another year if the contract is rejected two times. Mayor Yarber said a delay would cost the city over $30,000 a month in EPA fines. The council voted to reject the contract. The Mayor then tried to address the council (13:30) while he was gavelled down by Council President Melvin Priester, Jr.

Earlier posts
Copy of RFP
Socrates Garrett press release
Meet Wilson Carroll's minority partner

Note: The video is several minutes longer than it actually is. The city feed kept buffering. Fast forward when you get to a buffering spot or it seems the video re-starts at the beginning. My internet service is on a 75mbs speed.


PittPanther said...

I told you guys that Yarber was just a good old country boy, and not up to the task of being mayor.

You don't bring items in front of city council unless you already know you have the votes to win. Rookie.

Anonymous said...

Blah,Blah,Blah....if the City would properly advertise the job and allow open competition they would get a much lower price and have no trouble meeting the deadline- It has gotten to the point where very capable "non- minority" contractors don't waste their time and energy bidding on work for Jackson thus driving the cost up-this project is prime example-$10 million+ contract with 2 bids-go figure!

Anonymous said...

There's nothing legal he could have possibly done at this point in getting the votes for this contract. The worst part is that they squandered so much time in trying to get SGE the contract.

At least Dorsey Carson still gets paid for representing Socrates. Maybe people will forget that he associated himself with such people.

Anonymous said...

City Council know, this job too big for a Socrates. It take a HERCULES. Read your mythology. However, as this a big city and not some stables, only bronze Hercules need apply: no crumbly white marble non-minority Hercules, please!

Anonymous said...

This is the same Mayor whose public works department will not cut off the water to those stealing--they steal the water by simply taking out the meter and replacing it with a piece of PVC. Outrageous. That is thousands of customers stealing water. About a million a month in lost revenues to the City. What are you going to do about it Mayor? Start by arresting a good sample of the water thieves to send the rest a message--then cutting off those who continue to straight pipe.

Anonymous said...

Garrett is a 20% partner. Denali is a huge international company

Anonymous said...

A staggering amount of sewage flooded to the surface during Friday's rain @ Northside & Kimwood. A continuing example of the failure of the Yarber administration. This is a serious public health hazard at that location. Raw sewage is being discharged into the Eastover lakes and the Pearl River.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Why did they all get in a flying v formation if the camera was still off to the side? haha. Couldn't they setup in a better spot?

Anonymous said...

12:18- They won't arrest anyone for theft of services as it would cut into the election votes. Now the real criminals with expired tags...those are the real criminals. Let them award the contract to whatever incompetant they choose. The qualifications are in black and white writing on the wall. There has to be a reputable firm around!

Anonymous said...

Who was the outside contractor used to use the "formula" that allowed the numbers to change

Anonymous said...

20% for kickbacks and walking around money. The last one out of Jackson will have a very large bill to pay.

Anonymous said...

Garrett: Crony No. 1.

Anonymous said...

if you've got 75mb service, that aint the problem. remember, there's 2 ends and lot of midpoints in an internet feed.

Trying to Understand? said...

Can anyone explain to this mid-westerner, why 2 international HUGE companies would have a need to partner with two local black firms? What do these local yokel black owned companies bring to the table? Do they lower the price of the project, or add to it?

Why would 2 international companies need the "expertise" of 2 local companies, and other than being black, what leadership and cost savings do they offer?

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Republic of New Africa!

Anonymous said...


These cronies donate to local politicians. In this case, one perceivably confirmed crony would be Socrates Garret. CoJ government prefers collectivism. I.e. If you are awarded a contract, then you must use said contract to stimulate the local economy. So, there is an affective barrier around this politician ( the mayor). In order to get to him, you must hire the local crony contractor and commingle his services with yours in order to be awarded the contract. Looks like the council isn't falling for it, for one reason or another.

Scratchin my a@# said...

It's called "MINORITY PARTICIPATION" which is a classification you have to meet to do any business with the City of Jackson these days. Sad thing is that the city doesn't recognize the fact that the blacks make up the MAJORITY with 87%....go figure.

Anonymous said...

Minority firms don't get more business because they don't have flyweights don't have proper bonding OR insurance. The number or black firms with credentials should embarrass every, if there are any, black businesses statewide. They bitch about minority participation, but make no effort to qualify and become eligible. All the white mans fault.

Anonymous said...

How fitting. The Great Seal of the City of Jackson apparently died of shame at 6:25. It flung itself off the stage in mortal embarrassment.

Mel Brandle said...

They might as well throw the whole proposal and contract into storage the way that they are all going about it. If they can't get their act together, I don't think anything else is going to happen anyway!

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