JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Thursday, the Jackson City Council held a special meeting on a new garbage contract for the city.

The current contract with Richard’s Disposal expires on Friday, March 31.

Councilmen Ashby Foote, Kenneth Stokes, Aaron Banks, and Vernon Hartley did not attend the meeting, and a vote could not be held. This angered Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba and other councilmembers who attended the meeting.

“I just want to first thank the colleagues who did decide to show up today, who had the courage to face the people that we serve. I want to thank Mr. Richard and Richard’s Disposal. What we did to this Black man and this Black company is deplorable. We did to them what we point the finger to the state about doing to us,” said Councilwoman Angelique Lee, Ward 2.

During the meeting, Lumumba warned residents that if they are caught illegally dumping in the city, there will be severe consequences.

Councilman Banks, Ward 6, released the following statement after the meeting.

It’s unfortunate that a quorum wasn’t established at today’s special council meeting. Sadly, Mayor Lumumba waited until the ninety hour to call this meeting and didn’t do his due diligence of polling council members to check availability.

After having traveled to a national conference in our nation’s Capitol, my number one responsibility upon my return was to my family. I fulfilled those obligations and thus could not attend today’s meeting.

Additionally, not only was the meeting called at the last minute, I was not provided a copy of the contract in enough time to adequately prepare for a meeting even if my schedule had permitted me to attend.

As one member of the council, I will not allow my inability to attend to become a distraction. It is time out for the insults from colleagues and the smoke screen from this mayor. Let’s be clear, the citizens of Jackson deserve garbage collection. We all want that. At this point after the insults from colleagues, let’s be clear this was an attempt.  However, I will work without threats or insults and not hold it personally against those that had the audacity to do it. I am asking the mayor to bring before the council the highest scored vendor for twice a week with no carts.

Councilman Aaron Banks, Ward 6