After months of high-stakes public fighting, the Mayor’s proposal to extend the Trail Ridge contract with Waste Management went down without a fight on an 18-0 vote on Tuesday. The only abstention was from Councilman Warren Jones. The Council will now have to decide what their next course of action is, something that could eventually lead to a situation where the new contract is put out to bid.
The Times-Union’s story can be found here.
The outcome represents an interesting twist in Jacksonville politics. It’s certainly the first major defeat for the Peyton Administration, something that could have long-term implications during the remaining two years of Peyton’s term in office. It is also seen as a major defeat for Paul Harden, the lobbyist who has been the most visible face of the Waste Management team. (Harden also lost out on a rezoning issue on Tuesday night.) What is obvious is that, since the 2008 special elections, the composition of the Council has truly changed. There are now voices of dissent on the Council who seemingly grow more confident as time goes on. With compressed budgets for the foreseeable future, there will be more vigorous debates to come over the next two years. Whether or not the Mayor’s clout has been permanently damaged is something that remains to be seen. Only time will tell.