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‘The ball is now in their hands’: Lumumba responds after city council rescinds emergency declaration

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 8:21 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba released a lengthy statement Wednesday evening after the city council rescinded his state of emergency on garbage collections.

In the 4-2 decision, the council also voted to hire independent counsel to help them maneuver during the days-long garbage standoff.

After the vote, Councilwoman Virgi Lindsay, who represents Ward 7, read a statement in which she said that “no emergency exists” and that the council is now waiting on Lumumba to determine whether he will accept waste collection services from the city’s current vendor, Waste Management.

The city’s contract with Waste Management runs out at the end of the month.

Lumumba took issue with Lindsay’s statement, writing in his own statement that Lindsay’s statement was released without his knowledge.

He would then attempt to “make a couple things clear,” saying that Waste Management “never offered a short-term contract or the proposed one-month solution that councilwoman Lindsay speaks of.”

Lumumba then said he was forced to declare a local emergency order due to this contract being set to expire in the coming days and also so that Jackson residents could be prepared.

“Instead of reaching out to my office, they have decided to use this pressure as leverage to force the city into a long-term contract,” Lumumba wrote. “The most recent proposed option stated in Councilwoman Lindsay’s memo is only now offered after the city managed to find an emergency solution.”

This led him to say that Waste Management has left the city with no other option but to declare an emergency and that rescinding said emergency declaration now leaves the city with possibly having no garbage collection in the weeks to come.

“A majority of the council – in their apparent zeal to side with Waste Management – has put my office in an impossible situation,” Lumumba concluded, adding that he will address the matter further in the days ahead.

As for the council, he said, “The ball is now in their hands.”

Read Lumumba’s full statement below:

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