JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba spoke out about the city’s garbage collection dispute.

The mayor and city council have been at odds over the garbage collection contract for months, with no clear resolution in sight. On Monday, the mayor said he wants to let the people decide who will pick up their trash.

“We have offered that part of that solution, be that we put it up for a referendum for the residents of Jackson to vote. I told you when I came into office that when I become mayor, you become mayor, and there is no one that has a greater stake in the success of trash collections than the residents of Jackson. And so, I believe that if we give them an opportunity for their voice to be heard, that we can come to the answer,” said Lumumba.

Jackson City Council President Ashby Foote, Ward 11, disagreed with the mayor. He said the city council is the voice of the people, and he’s not so sure that a public referendum would be the answer to the months-long garbage contract dispute.

“I’m skeptical about that as a solution. I believe it’s another attempt to basically bypass the council and for the council to not have a voice. The people speak through their councilmen. We all get elected by our citizens in our particular wards. I guess he can try that, but I’m really skeptical about that being a reasonable solution to the issue,” said Foote.

Foote believes the best way to move forward is for the mayor to go back to the RFP process to find garbage collection companies for the city council to vote on.

An attorney for the city council told WJTV 12 News it’s not all clear that the mayor has the authority to call for such a referendum and doing so could violate state public purchasing laws.