Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Fussell vs. Peyton

One reads. One is read to.

Of course, there are other differences more germane to one of the city’s hottest conversation pieces. John Peyton seems content to award a $750 million contract to a friend. Ronnie Fussell isn’t quite sold on the prospect of a sole source contract for a project in which other firms have expressed interest.

The public appears to see other differences.

While Mr. Fussell’s e-mails from citizens, which was discussed here yesterday, is relatively polite, Mayor Peyton is taking quite a pounding over his dictatorial ambitions. Perhaps the voting public realizes Mr. Peyton doesn’t read his own e-mail or maybe they think he’s “on someone else’s payroll.” (Their words, not mine.) Regardless, their thoughts are rather interesting. Read them below…

mr. it is somewhat troubling to me that you would expect anyone to agree to such a deal not knowing if that is the best deal for the city.if it sounds to good to be true it is


Mr. Peyton,

Who is on your payroll or is it what payroll do you belong to? I do not believe your father would allow for such a large contract to go unchallenged. Even if a contract negotiation costs a little up front, uncontested contracts have historically been frivolous and way over budget. Why are you and your staff so adement about getting this deal done, behind closed doors/ Why is Waste Management officials meeting individually with city council persons? Being over budget, where is the money we as tax payers agreed to pay for the better Jacksonville plan? Why must we pay hundreds of millions more for a courthouse than we agreed to pay, without this going back to the voters. Let the cash strapped people of Jacksonville decide. Yes. I understand the city of Jacksonville wants something nice. Or is it the appointed judges and their staff. I believe the money should be rerouted to where it is needed, insted of where it is wanted. Let some of this money fund the additional costs for the JSO. Let’s put it out to assist those in true need for food and shelter. Jacksonville leaders have got to stop wasting our money and then using scare tactics as they do every year at budget time, saying we will have to cut costs in Emergency Services. Can we the people of Jacksonville have a Federal audit, penny for penny as to where our money is going, and then hold responsible the parties involved that may have wasted it. Say like for Jacksonville Jaguar tickets?

Very irate Peyton voter.

Dear Mayor,

First of all, there should be NO contracts awarded without competitive bids. period! We’ve had enough of the Bush/Cheney/Haliburton-style of “no contract” awards.

Secondly, to even consider a 35-year contract is not only very suspicious, it’s ludicrous! It smells like someone is trying to lock down a sweetheart deal for a very long term, and it makes you wonder just who the beneficiaries are? And 35 years from now, who knows what companies will exist and what new and better technologies will exist for handling our refuse? 35 years for any contract, other than maybe a mortgage, is a dumb idea, or worse.!

I’ve been more or less of a supporter of yours, but with the financial debacle of the courthouse, and now this, you’re really on my watch list.


Keep Waste Management – If you get someone cheaper, well it will reflect on the services
They do a great job!

The very essence of government in the sunshine is to provide the tax paying residents with an open view of government interactions. To not put a contract of this magnitude out for bid is to insure that the current status quo is never challenged to do better, for less money in a competitive business environment.

Additionally, I have never heard of any company or enterprise giving any business enterprise a publicly financed contract lasting 35 years. This would seemingly lock you into a long term relationship that could not be changed given any number of circumstances; market changes, technology advances (perhaps by a competitor), future financial constraints, changing demand, etc.

Contracts can be framed in order to avoid getting just the cheapest entity to prevail and instead wording to not compromise the quality and experience of those companies responding.

This landfill contract should absolutely be an RFP to keep the City on the cutting edge of technology while demanding current best practices and competent stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

Landfill bid

I am a concerned citizen. Will someone please tell me simply and succinctly the opposition to having the landfill contract put up for bid? Thank you
How can a no-bid contract possibly be justified? Let’s look
at what the marketplace has to offer! PLEASE.
A.W. and M.W.
Please bid the contract to operate the city’s landfill. How can you be certain, Mayor Peyton, that the price cannot be matched unless you bid it?

Cant you ever stay within the Law ???????
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It’s a 750 million dollar deal and City rules say contracts over $50,000 must have a formal bidding process. But Mayor Peyton says that requirement doesn’t apply.

“Basically we’re saying let’s extend this pile to this pile. Versus doing two separate piles.”

The Mayor says because the deal adds on to the existing site it isn’t a new contract. It’s an extension of the 1991 contract with Waste Management to run Trail Ridge. A contract that was bid on at the time. But not everyone agrees.

A competing waste company, Republic Services, argues this is an entirely new agreement. And that means city leaders aren’t following their own rules to get competing bids. Mayor Peyton says Republic’s position is motivated by its business interests.

“I recognize there are companies that would like to be in this deal, and it is in their interest to protect their stockholders value, but it’s my job to protect the taxpayer’s value. I take that very seriously.”

Republic representatives say they could give the city a much better deal. And it’s in taxpayers best interest to see what kind of savings could be out there. We asked the Mayor whether he would take the same no-bid approach if he were running the Gate Corporation instead of the city.

“In this situation, certainly. We have a situation where it is cheaper to expand the existing pile than starting over with a new pile.”
Mayor Peyton,

I just wanted to take a moment to express my support for your position on renewing the existing landfill contract. After listening to you on the radio it occurred to me that the real issue at stake here seems to be whether or not we want to maximize the use of the landfill. Don’t get me wrong, I know the City would incur a number of costs were it to rebid the existing contract and those costs are certainly important. However, common sense would tell us that the closure and post closure costs on the existing mound and all future mounds are going to be incurred at some point anyway. So, by renewing the existing contract all we’re doing is deferring the closure, post-closure and possible remediation costs until the current mound reaches capacity.

I do not profess to be a legal expert on environmental issues but I assume there is some regulation that either prohibits or makes it difficult to transfer liability of the existing mound from one company to another. I always thought ultimate liability of the landfill rested with the City but I could be wrong. In any event, if such a regulation exists then rebidding this contract could reduce the useful life of the landfill by the number of years remaining on the current mound. In my opinion, that would be a considerable loss to the City and taxpayers and that is why I am supporting your position on this issue. Keep up the good work.


Of course, the Mayor can take comfort in the fact that at least two people support his position. Unfortunately, surveys have shown they are very much in the minority. Council members are certainly feeling much more of the heat on this issue, something that weighs heavily on their minds as they consider future political ambitions.


Filed under: Jacksonville, Jacksonville City Council, Mayor of Jacksonville, , , ,

2 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. steven says:

    Impeach him

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