Review of city trash plans canceled

Published 1:01 am Tuesday, April 17, 2018


NATCHEZ — Plans to begin reviewing proposals for the city’s next waste contract were canceled Monday after two aldermen voiced opposition.

The meeting was to primarily involve Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell, City Planner Riccardo Giani and two members of the city’s utilities committee — Ward 2 Alderman Billie Joe Frazier and Ward 3 Alderwoman Sarah Smith.

Email newsletter signup

But before the meeting could take place, Ward 1 Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis and Ward 4 Alderwoman Felicia Irving said the entire board — not just a few members — needs to review the proposals as a whole, based on what the aldermen agreed upon in a previous meeting.

With four aldermen now present, Arceneaux-Mathis said, the city would need to formally publicize a specially called meeting, which, by that stage, would not be possible for Monday morning.

Smith asked Arceneaux-Mathis her reasoning, asking if she thought the mayor or anyone else had anything to hide.

“I’m not going to justify anything other than what’s in the minutes,” Arceneaux-Mathis responded.

Irving agreed with Arceneaux-Mathis.

“We realize that this is one of the largest contracts that we have, the city has, and that’s why it’s so important to us that all of us have fair ground with knowing the same knowledge at the same time, because we all want to be involved in this,” Irving said. “We have constituents that we need to answer to.”

Giani told the aldermen they have the capability to, at any time, go up to the city’s planning office, sign a nondisclosure agreement and review the information from the proposals for themselves. After the meeting was canceled, Arceneaux-Mathis, Frazier and Irving then went upstairs at city hall to review the proposals by themselves.

Smith said after the meeting she didn’t understand why if Mathis and Irving insisted the entire board meet to discuss the issue, they met again privately to look at the proposals.

“I am confused as to why they said the utilities committee couldn’t meet, yet they then went ahead to meet with the city planner in private,” Smith said.

The board’s next scheduled meeting is May 1, as the second meeting in April was canceled for travel purposes.