Council Votes Shreveport Woman Millions to Start Recycling Business
The vote will go into the record as unanimous.
By a 4 - 0 count, the Shreveport City Council awarded Charlette Edwards the new - and controversial - recycling contract, a deal that could give Edwards $1.9 million a year for five years.
And why the controversy? Because Edwards, now responsible for the city's curbside pickup and removal of recyclables, isn't in the recycling business.
Charlette Edwards' background
In June, Edwards' company, C. Edwards Concepts, which promotes itself as a public health and development consulting firm, was unanimously chosen by a four-person panel appointed by Mayor Adrian Perkins. Edwards was the only one of four applicants to propose curbside pickup.
Edwards was also the only minority applicant, which the committee said scored in her favor.
The unanimous vote: Why only 4?
Only four of the city's seven council members attended Tuesday's meeting. Members Tabatha Taylor, James Green, Jerry Bowman and newly sworn in Dr. Alan Jackson voted in favor of the Edwards deal. Council members LeVette Fuller, Grayson Boucher and John Nickelson were absent.
Details of the contract
According to the newly approved deal, Edwards "will receive $158,333.00 per month. Payment will not start until the end of the month in which recycling pick-up begins. If the pick-up does not begin on the first of the month, the fee will be prorated. "
In addition, the deal requires "the Contractor to provide a surety bond. This resolution is to modify that term to require the Contractor to provide the surety bond for the first year in the amount of $1.9 million, with the necessity for the surety bond to be re-evaluated on a year-to-year basis after the first year."
Edwards has to be bonded first
The surety bond clause, passed by a 4-3 council vote in September, was the idea of Councilman John Nickelson, who cited Edwards lack of experience in the recycling business. At the time, Nickelson told KEEL, "I thought we needed a surety bond in this case because...(Edwards) has no equipment, no employees, no experience. So, particularly in circumstances where the contractor selected does not have a track record, it's very important to protect the city from default and a performance bond is one way to accomplish this."
The city's contract with Edwards calls for the curbside collection of the city's recyclables every two weeks. It also allows the city to cancel the contract with 30 days notice if Edwards fails to live up to the terms of the agreement.