Waste Management Inc., (WMI) a Houston based Landfill giant, appears to be using unregistered lobbyists to influence the selection of San Francisco’s landfill contractor.
Marcus Young of the real estate marketing firm Gauger & Associates
In reading the blogs The Sentinel came across the following article. The stink was generated by a San Francisco Budget Analyst report, that seems to be more a policy paper than a fiscal analysis. The Budget Analyst’s recommendations all relate to the process by which the City collects its waste, rather than providing more relevant and germane information regarding the fiscal strength of the winning bidder, which City Officials place at $130 million.
Being curious, The Sentinel did what all cynical, but interested journals should do and pulled up the City’s ethics page to peruse the lobbyist database. It appears the lobbyist who went to Matt Smith with the Budget Analyst report does not have an active registration with the City and County of SF.
Waste Management disclosures on the City’s ethic site show two firms registered to lobby on behalf of the company. According to my sources, both of those companies, Solem Associates, who reported approximately $25,000 in income from Waste Management Inc., and Platinum Advisors, who collected $60,000 in payments, no longer represent the company. Instead, based on the Weekly quote, Marcus Young, of the real estate marketing firm Gauger & Associates now claims the title.
Young, best known for his failed decade-long pursuit of a the Mirant power plant in the City’s Southeast sector neighborhood of Potrero Hill, has been reportedly seen exiting Supervisors’ offices in City Hall in the final days before the City’s Budget and Finance Committee meeting on Wednesday.
A call to Recology spokesperson, Adam Alberti, revealed that they were not aware of what role Marcus Young is playing in the effort, but that “it is clear that Waste Management has hired multiple consultants to deliberately mislead the public and the Board with regards to the merit of the contract before them.” He went on to state that “it is unfortunate, but an expected tactic employed by the waste behemoth across the globe.”
There seems to be some truth to Alberti’s claims as he pointed me to a recent $25 million award, for Waste’s defamatory practices against another smaller company in Texas, TDI. TDI’s CEO, Bob Gregory, had this to say about the award, “We hope that Waste Management’s board of directors will receive the jury’s apparent message concerning the acceptable limits of fair competitive practices.
One could wonder if their board agrees considering the recent activity in San Francisco and the fact that they, not surprisingly appealed the decision.
SENTINEL FOUNDER PAT MURPHY
Photo By Luke Thomas FogCityJournal.com