Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Mayor Loses Round One

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.


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

The Real Reason Brad Thoburn is leaving the City?

He was unable to speak his mind.

From: Michael Saylor [mailto:michaeljsaylor@comcast.net]
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2009 11:02 AM
To: Holt, Ray
Subject: heads up

Hi Ray,

After persistent calls to issue a public comment on the Mayport Cruise terminal, I wrote the attached guest editorial and have discussed it with Mike Clark. He’s going to run it. It contains opinions that are contradictory to your article of ten or so days ago. I just want you to know that its coming.

I am not taking issue with your personal views. Like everyone in District 11, I appreciate the hard work you put in and know you lead with both your head and your heart.  I am just reading the Comp Plan language and Zoning Code as I would if I were still Director. Frankly, I’m disappointed that Brad Thoburn has been handcuffed so frequently this past year. It has been a disservice to the community to have a Director of Planning who cannot give his real opinion, and I am certain his position would mirror mine.

Filed under: Jacksonville, Mayor of Jacksonville, , ,

Just Say No

The Times Union reported on the Waste Management no-bid contract this morning.

Where to begin?

Should I start with Art Shad who is the ONLY Council person to come out of the gate expressing his wholehearted support of the no-bid agreement – “a shining example of what’s good”?

Or should I start with Paul Harden who thinks the no-bid contract “sells itself”?

Or should I start with Waste Management representatives who will be meeting with each of the Council members individually to “ensure the council has all the information…”?

Or should I start with the positives – the Council members who appear to have spines?

IMO, this is a no-brainer decision – JUST SAY NO.  This contract should be put out to bid and I am calling my council representatives to encourage them to do just that.

Here’s a run-down of the various Council members’ current position on the no-bid contract according to the Times Union::



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