JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – As the City of Jackson awaits a decision from the Mississippi Supreme Court on the garbage collection dispute, the City Council has taken steps to move forward if Richard’s Disposal has to cease operations.
The attorney for the City Council, Deshun Martin, filed another lawsuit last week. He asked a judge to allow councilmembers to continue the RFP process for a new garbage collection agency without Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba.
Typically, the mayor receives and negotiates vendor contracts, and those vendors are voted on by the council. However, councilmembers said Lumumba has not been negotiating with garbage collection vendors.
If the Mississippi Supreme Court rules in favor of the City Council, Richard’s Disposal will have to stop operations in Jackson, and a new company would have to step in.
Martin said the new filing is just to ensure that trash will continue to be picked up in Jackson, but Lumumba cited a previous ruling that only he can negotiate vendor contracts.
“It’s time to move forward, and the council is trying to make sure that it’s not caught behind the eight ball with garbage piling up, and there has never been a vendor two, RFP two, or vendor three, RFP three ready to wind up when Richard’s is told by the Mississippi Supreme Court that you can’t veto a negative bill even in an emergency situation,” said Martin.
“Dickson clearly said and nobody has appealed this, that the only person who can introduce a contract in our form of government is the mayor. I want to be clear that the mayor hasn’t failed to do anything. I have put forth this contract several times. I put forth a contract. I put forth an emergency contract. I went through the extraordinary measure of vetoing,” said Lumumba.
The lawsuit that currently sits in the Mississippi Supreme Court is to decide if the mayor had the authority to veto a ‘no’ vote on an emergency contract with Richard’s Disposal. Martin believes that the ruling could come by the end of February 2023.