From WOKV’s Jared Halpern:
At a special City Council meeting set to gather information on a controversial landfill contract extension, lawmakers abruptly agreed to a recommendation that could kill the $750 million Waste Management offer.
As many as nine men were expecting to offer sworn testimony to Jacksonville’s City Council. Instead, lawmakers only called their own attorney, General Counsel Rick Mullaney, to the podium to answer an array of legal questions concerning the city’s current contract with Trail Ridge landfill operator Waste Management.
“You still very strong that the city would prevail if we had someone sue us, correct?” councilwoman Denise Lee asked in one exchange.
Mullaney response: “No lawyer can guaruntee you an outcome.”
After about 90 minutes with Mullaney, lawmakers voted on a recommendation to withdraw the Mayor’s request to accept a renegotiated contract extension with Waste Management.
The Council of the Whole’s vote is not binding, but the 11-7 vote sets up final City Council action as early as Tuesday and provides a clear forecast of how lawmakers view the no-bid offer.
“Yeah, I’d say that was a pretty good guage of what the next vote will be,” council member Ray Holt said following the meeting. Holt voted against withdrawing the bill. He wants more information from key players and criticized fellow council members for rushing to judgement.