March 2017

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

« Then again, no | Main | Trailways vs Greyhound »

Jul 25, 2012

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Collards

Why would you want to recycle pizza boxes?
Cardboard, yes, greasy cardboard?

Good for Greensboro!

prell

"See tomorrow's Rhino for an explanation of how this is terrible news for Greensboro."

Don't forget the uber-right leaning Greensboro Guardian. This is worse than Jeremy Williams getting smoked in the run-off. It's sad that we live in a country where you can't eat homophobic chicken and throw the garbage out the window of your Bentley. Recycling is BAD and WRONG.

Bill Yaner

High Point hires local workers to physically seperate recyclables then bundle them before they sell directly to brokers with no middle man, I believe. Will be interesting to compare the two as to revenue returned to the city.

formerly gt

Looks like the Rhino already delved much deeper into this issue than other local media.

See tomorrow's edcone.com as to what's wrong with the Rhino article.

Also unlike others, Ed seems to have missed the obvious. How much as the city been overpaying and how long has it been overpaying?

Fec

Hammer published articles for two weeks chronicling the $625,000 subsidy to private trash haulers and the $2M last week lost to methane capture at the biggest landfill in the state without one.

But the greasy little coward cynically ignored both articles and then points to this week's edition of The Rhino Times for more of "what's wrong with Greensboro."

Ed Cone

I do need to catch up on the garbage story, which has pretty much passed me by.

Anyone care to offer a pithy summary?

Triadwatch

Now in 2012 and the councilman not with Bell Partners anymore,  we come to find out that Zack Matheny is a consultant with a solid waste company in the area. Below you will see some e mail exchanges in regards to this issue because of future solid waste operations for Greensboro.

___________________________________________________________________________________


Subject: FW: Potential Conflict of Interest with City Council Member on Solid Waste Operations Contract
Councilmember Matheny,
Please find below an email I received from Norma Reid Houston, Adjunct Professor of Law and Lecturer in Public Law and Government at the UNC-CH School of Government, opining that the allegations against you presented by Attorney Tom Terrell do not constitute a conflict of interest pursuant to applicable state law and city policy. Thus, none of these allegations would prohibit you from voting on the Municipal Solid Waste Operations contract. Her opinion is based on the email that I sent to her which is also included below. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sincerely,
James A. Dickens, Associate General Counsel
Office of the City Attorney
City of Greensboro
Phone: 336-373-2320; Fax: 336-373-2078
P.O. Box 3136, Greensboro, North Carolina 27402-3136
www.greensboro-nc.gov
From: Houston, Norma Reid [mailto:nhouston@sog.unc.edu]
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2012 11:21 AM
To: Dickens, James
Cc: Leonard, Brian; Peterson-Buie, Becky; Houston, Norma Reid
Subject: RE: Potential Conflict of Interest with City Council Member on Solid Waste Operations Contract
Good morning James:
Thank you for your time this morning in clarifying the facts of the situation described below. As we discussed, in my opinion, this scenario does not give rise to a conflict of interest under G.S. 14-234, G.S. 14-234.1, or the City’s conflict of interest policy, nor does it constitute a “financial interest” for which Councilmember Matheny may seek to be excused from voting under G.S. 160A-75.
My conclusion stems from the fact that Councilmember Matheny’s employer, Green Day, is not a direct respondent or a listed subcontractor for any of the respondents to the City’s solid waste RFP, and therefore, the Councilmember has no financial interest in the award of the contract (and, for purposes of G.S. 14-234, I assume his spouse, if he has one, does not have a financial interest either).
G.S. 14-234 prohibits a public official or employee from being involved in making or administering a contract on behalf of the unit of government he or she serves if the official or the official’s spouse derives a direct benefit under that contract (a direct benefit being one of the following: having more than 10% ownership interest in the contracting entity, receiving income or commission directly under the contract, or acquiring property under the contract). In the present scenario, Councilmember Matheny does not derive a prohibited direct benefit under any of the potential contracts the City would award in response to the solid waste RFP. Thus, there is no conflict of interest under G.S. 14-234.
G.S. 14-234.1 prohibits a public official or employee from using non-public (confidential) information made known to him in his official capacity to acquire a pecuniary benefit for himself or anyone else. In the present scenario, there is no evidence that Councilmember Matheny is using non-public information in this manner (and, in fact, the public RFP process works against such an allegation), nor is Councilmember Matheny in a position to acquire a pecuniary benefit. Thus, there is no conflict of interest under G.S. 14-234.1
G.S. 160A‑75 requires city governing board members to vote on matters coming before the board unless the member has been excused from voting, and the member may only be excused from voting on a matter involving the member’s own financial interest or official conduct, or for which voting is statutorily prohibited under G.S. 14‑234, 160A‑381(d), or 160A‑388(e1). Since the award of the solid waste contract does not involve Councilmember Matheny’s own financial interest, I see no legal basis upon which Councilmember Matheny may be excused from voting on the contract award or other matters related to the City’s solid waste RFP.
Finally, the City’s Conflict of Interest Policy (again, my compliments to you for the quality of the policy) tracks the federal Grants Management Common Rule conflict of interest requirements, including prohibiting actual and apparent conflicts of interest, which are generally interpreted to mean financial interests. Given that Councilmember Matheny stands to gain no financial benefit under the city’s solid waste RFP and resulting contract award, I see no violation of the City’s Conflict of Interest policy (and, even if there were one, the only legal sanction for a governing board member for violating a local conflict of interest policy is a motion of censure by the governing board; no other sanctions are legally authorized absent a concurrent violation of state or federal law).
In conclusion, it is my opinion that Councilmember Matheny does not have a conflict of interest under G.S. 14-234, G.S. 14-234.1, or the City’s Conflict of Interest policy, nor does Councilmember Matheny have a financial interest for which he could be excused from voting on this matter under G.S. 160A-75.
If I can provide further assistance or you would like to discuss this matter further, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Best wishes,
Norma
From: Dickens, James [mailto:james.dickens@greensboro-nc.gov]
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2012 11:18 AM
To: Houston, Norma Reid
Cc: Leonard, Brian; Peterson-Buie, Becky
Subject: Potential Conflict of Interest with City Council Member on Solid Waste Operations Contract
Ms. Houston,
Below is a list of facts we received from an attorney that represents one of the Solid Waste Contractors who submitted a proposal in response to the City of Greensboro’s Request for Proposals for Municipal Solid Waste Management Services. This attorney claims that one of our council members has a conflict of interest by virtue of his employment with a company named, “Green Day”, company who provides commercial and industrial waste hauling services in Greensboro. Green Day is not a company who submitted a proposal in response to the Solid Waste Management Services RFP, and to our knowledge, Green Day is not a subcontractor of either Republic Services or Waste Connections, the two companies currently being considered by the City Council to award the contract. Based on the facts below, do you believe that the councilmember who represents Green Day has a conflict of interest pursuant to N.C.G.S. 160A-75, N.C.G.S. 14-234 or the City of Greensboro’s conflict of interest policy which is attached hereto. Thank you very much for your assistance in this matter.
Sincerely,
James A. Dickens, Associate General Counsel
Office of the City Attorney
City of Greensboro
Phone: 336-373-2320; Fax: 336-373-2078
P.O. Box 3136, Greensboro, North Carolina 27402-3136
www.greensboro-nc.gov
1) Both A-1 and Green Day provide commercial and industrial waste hauling and recycling in the Greensboro market.
2) A-1 directly competes with Green Day for a limited number of customers in the market.
3) Among the companies whose business they compete for are Samet, Lomax, and KV Homes.
4) A-1 has recently won bids over Green Day with AC Corp, Matrix Furniture, the new UNC-G development that crossed Lee Street, the nano-science building, JSNN and numerous Lomax jobs. A-1 reasonably believes there is a high degree of frustration on Green Day's part because A-1's ownership of its own disposal site makes it difficult for Green Day to submit competitive bids. A recent contract Green Day did land over A-1's bid was the new apartment complex at the former North State Chevrolet site.
5) Green Day does not compete with Hilco or Republic.
6) Councilman Matheny's job is to land these contracts for Green Day, and to do so he goes head to head with A-1.
7) It is customary for sales teams in this industry to be paid at least in part on a commission basis.
8) If Councilman Matheny is paid on a commission basis (in whole or part), or if his sales performance affects his income on an annual basis, then A-1's competition directly affects his income.
9) By using his public position in public meetings to describe A-1 as a company that is not good enough or inadequate to handle its part of this contract, then he has reasonably harmed A-1's reputation among their mutual potential clients, which indirectly could work to his company's and his personal financial benefit.
10) There is a vehemence and emotional undertone in Councilman Matheny's public comments that suggest his decision to go with the high bidder in this matter has a personal and undisclosed basis (or at least lends credibility to that conclusion).

Ed Cone

Seriously, though, a pithy summary would be most appreciated.

Triadwatch

You wanted to catch up on this issue , just another bs ruling from unc school of government

Ed Cone

I'm hoping for a summary of the plot, not the footnotes to chapter 8.

I'm still at the who, what, when, where, why stage of discovery.

Headlines tell me (I think) that John Hammer says the city is overpaying for some part of the garbage disposal process.

I've had some luck using fill-in-the-blank emails to my son in college. Let me try that technique here:

Hammer reports that GSO is paying to much for __________.

The easy solution he sees is ________________.

His explanation for why that's not happening is ____________.

The City's explanation for the situation is ____________, and its proposed path toward resolution is _____________.

collards

This post was originially about a change in recycling. That biz has changed quite a bit in the last few years. You could hardly give the stuff away four years ago. This is a sign the economy is improving.

Let's not get on Ed for not referencing the methane or tipping fees for third parties. That is not what this post is about.

And lets not call him greasy either.

Ed Cone

It's the joke telling itself. This good thing is bad for Greensboro because...

-- It didn't happen earlier.
-- Other problems exist.
-- My sucky blog sucks and so do I.
-- Etc.

Account Deleted

I will give Ed's game a shot:

Hammer reports that GSO is paying to much for - the per ton rate to dispose of waste brought to the transfer station.-

The easy solution he sees is -at least charging Republic cost for disposing of its garbage.-

His explanation for why that's not happening is -Don Vaughn is a state senator.-

The City's explanation for the situation is -unexplained to Jim Kee, who has asked the appropriate questions- and its proposed path toward resolution is -silence.-

##

It's also a little hard to follow exactly what Waste Management does for the city and what Republic does for the city and which counties each company hauls the city trash to.

Ed Cone

Thanks, Jeff.

Has Amanda covered this?

The comments to this entry are closed.