Friday, May 30, 2014

Trashaway-Republic Deal: Considerations from TDS

Texas Disposal Systems posted information on its web site regarding the City of San Angelo's bleak trash situation.  The City needs to act quickly at a time when measured thought would be preferable.  San Angelo's contract with Trashaway-Republic expires in July.

TDS submitted an unsuccessful bid to provide trash collections for residential and commercial customers for the City of San Angelo.  It also proposed to operate the City's landfill, which is rapidly running out of space.  Add that winning bidder Trashaway-Republic billed commercial clients for unauthorized charges for years and things get more bizarre.

San Angelo Live reported:

The first tack is to finish negotiations on the new contract from the RFP selection with Republic, and the second is to fully investigate the suspect Environmental Recovery Fees (ERF), equal to approximately 32% extra on commercial trash collection bills, that Republic has been charging for at least a decade. To date, the City has announced no finding of specific legal authorization for Republic to charge San Angelo's commercial customers the ERF.

Since the 2004 contract is involved in the executive session description, this may be related to the ERF issue. City staff may be poised to offer Council options on how to proceed with the second pathway described above.

Wednesday, the City said the contract negotiations would not be completed in time for the May 6 council meeting.

City Manager Daniel Valenzuela is distancing himself from being involved in the actual trash decision by assuming the role of researcher and facilitator for Council. Once his staff has completed their negotiations and research, the decision on how to proceed will rest almost completely upon Council’s shoulders.

The irony of the matter is the City is discussing litigation with a vendor at the same time it’s negotiating a long-term, multi-million dollar contract.

Possible litigation is on City Council's agenda for Executive Session this Tuesday, June 3, 2014.  However the Trashaway-Republic contract for trash collection and landfill operation is not on the public agenda.

Last November City Council hardly seemed visionary in its discussion of whether to request RFP's for trash collection/landfill operation.  TDS' website provides a rich source of information for interested citizens, as does the City of San Angelo's purchasing department

Stay tuned for future developments, which will likely involve a multi-million dollar settlement with Trashaway-Republic and new long term contract.  The process already left a bad taste in many mouths.  In most cases long term unethical behavior would disallow a vendor from bidding at all.  In Surprising San Angelo it's a detail to work through.

Also, if a City Manager is not making a firm recommendation, coaching staff and shaping the process, then San Angelo has a leadership problem.  The buck stops at the City Manager's office.  If there's no professional management/leadership then City Council has to slog through a staff driven hodge podge on any issue.

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