The Rhino pronounces the White Street landfill dead and buried with Gate City’s withdrawal of its contract proposal.


The reason the public hearing and the second and third vote would have been necessary to award the contract to Gate City was that the contract was being awarded as an ordinance. One of the attorneys for Gate City, Steve Levitas with Kilpatrick, Townsend and Stockton LLP, said that he had never seen a contract passed as an ordinance. Because the contract was an ordinance and not simply a contract, the City Council first had to vote to award the contract to Gate City, which it did.

If the council had treated this like a regular contract it could have awarded the contract to Gate City and had the city manager work out the details, which is how contracts such as this are often handled.

The fact that Gate City’s attorney raises the issue issue makes one assume that something could have been different had Gate City’s proposal been just a “regular contract.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but contracts go on the consent agenda, which requires only one council vote to pass. However, individual council members can pull an item for a separate vote, and certainly council landfill opponents would have done so. There would not have been a public hearing, although I’m certain landfill opponents would have made their voices loud and clear.

Too late now, but it’s still an interesting twist.