August 11, 2011
Contact: Chris Brook (919) 323 – 3380 ext. 113
Goldie Wells 336-549-8712
Will pick a vendor after seven days, 694 pages and before speaking to a single applicant
GREENSBORO–Seven business days after getting 694 pages of proposals from the six vendors, the Greensboro City Council will tonight select a company to operate the White Street Landfill. In a rare, if not unprecedented move, the council will vote on the same night they receive proposal analyses from city staff and before speaking to a single potential vendor.
“Seven days isn’t enough time to study nearly seven-hundred pages of proposals,” says former Councilwoman Goldie Wells. “I know they haven’t been doing council work that whole time.” Wells is also a leader in the Citizens for Economic and Environmental Justice, which opposes the landfill.
A public hearing will be held on the proposals after the council has made a selection. However, the obvious intent of the council is to sign a contract, rendering any public hearing after a selection meaningless. A recent report from Republic Services—the current solid waste operator for the city—noted that $3.5 million in annual savings could be achieved without re-opening the landfill to municipal solid waste, weakening the primary assertion made by the council that re-opening the landfill is a budgetary necessity.
“It makes you wonder if they already have their minds made up,” says Wells.
The council is charging towards a decision in order to have a contract signed before voters can offer their opinion in the upcoming elections. City Councilman Robbie Perkins noted at a community forum Monday evening that this was the best rushed process he had seen since coming onto the Council in 1993. This rush to re-open White Street will come at the expense of including Greensboro residents—in particular those who live around the landfill—in a decision that will affect the city for decades.
Chris Brook, an attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, will read a letter into the record of tonight’s City Council meeting. Read it here (bit.ly/qBi9pq).
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in August, 2007 in Durham, North Carolina by a multi-disciplinary group, predominantly people of color, who believe that families and communities engaged in social justice struggles need a team of lawyers, social scientists, community organizers and media specialists to support them in their efforts to dismantle structural racism and oppression.