Judge: Something smells in Flint in trash-hauling dispute
Flint, Mich. — A Michigan city trying to recover from lead in drinking water has another controversy: Who will pick up the trash?
A Flint City Council member is suing Mayor Karen Weaver after she insisted on hiring a new contractor, even after the council voted to keep Republic Services on the job.
The contract with Republic expired Friday, and regular curbside collection may not resume until next Wednesday in the city of roughly 100,000 people. The Flint Journal said a judge held a hearing Friday without Weaver, who was in Philadelphia attending the Democratic National Convention.
The hearing will resume Tuesday after lawyers were told to return with more information.
“While the obnoxious stench of political intrigue permeates from city hall, an equally insalubrious aroma comes from our neighborhoods where our (trash) will not be picked,” Genesee County Judge Joseph Farah said.
Weaver vetoed a council resolution to not hire Rizzo Environmental Services, but the veto was overridden.
“This city council is not concerned about what’s right for the residents of Flint,” city administrator Sylvester Jones Jr. said. “This administration has done nothing but try to save the city money.”
Council member Scott Kincaid said Weaver can’t hire a trash hauler without the council’s approval.
“We’re speaking on behalf of our residents, and this mayor and her administration wants to continue to ignore that,” Kincaid said.
Separately, Flint is trying to recover from lead-tainted tap water after water from the Flint River was not properly treated for 18 months.