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Jackson mayor releases letter to city council president to ‘refute false narrative’

By Angela Williams

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    JACKSON, Mississippi (WAPT) — Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba released an internal document that he says proves the efforts his office has put forth to find the best garbage collection contract for the city.

Lumumba released a letter dated Nov. 23 to City Council President Ashby Foote, in which he questions an executive session from Oct. 11. The mayor said he released the letter “in the interest of transparency.”

“Our objective is clear. We want our residents to know that we have taken enormous efforts to secure a garbage collection contract,” Lumumba said in a statement released along with the letter to Foote. “We have gone through three separate RFP (request for proposal) processes in the last several years. A slim majority of the city council has refused to accept the contract of the top-rated vendors in the last two RFP processes. First, it was FCC Environmental and now it is Richard’s Disposal.”

The Richard’s Disposal emergency contract expires at the end of March, and in order to keep garbage from piling up, a contract with a new deal would need to start on April 1.

Lumumba continues to support Richard’s, saying the New Orleans-based company has proven its ability to pick up trash in Jackson and is proposing a deal that is much lower than the two other RFP companies.

The mayor needs four votes from the Jackson City Council to approve a garbage contract, something some council members say he won’t get.

In order to keep garbage from piling up, a contract with a new deal would need to start on April 1.

“We also feel compelled to refute a false narrative that has been created among some council members and their attorney that the mayor has done nothing. As noted in the letter, the mayor reached out to the council president four months ago to try to resolve this issue. He even sent letters to the vendors to confirm if they would honor the original RFP prices,” Lumumba said in a statement. “The battle over a garbage contract has been an extremely unfortunate situation. But it was avoidable. The selection of a successful company that could and is now doing the job, while saving the city millions in taxpayers dollars, is in the best interest of Jackson residents. That is who we serve.”

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