The St. Louis Ways & Means committee addressed the controversial Veolia letter sent to Comptroller Darlene Green for the 2nd time on Tuesday October 29th, 2013. The letter claimed that the Board of Aldermen passed funding for a Veolia Consulting contract when they approved funding to the water division for professional development. Alderman Kennedy sponsored bb 216 that reduces funding to the water division by $250,000, the alleged amount approved for the Veolia Contract. It passed committee 4 to 2. B4 it passed, Mary Ellen Ponder from the Mayor’s office announced that Veolia Water withdrew from the process and blamed opponents of Veolia for politicizing the process; therefore, the Mayor asked informally asked Metropolitan Sewer District MSD for consulting.
At the lawful selection of Veolia was focused on citizens and the Mayor’s goal to provide the highest quality drinking water at the lowest possible cost. Instead this debate turned into political posturing, misinformation, an ongoing campaign of fear tactics and sometimes outright lies…Veolia will not go forward with the contract they originally awarded.
In response both President of the Board of Aldermen Lewis Reed and Alderman Antonio French objected to Ellen’s notion the process was politicized and veolia opponents is to blame. French reminded Ellen that the Board of Aldermen don’t like being told that they approved a contract that they didn’t intend of approving.
The problem is one the administration was unable to convince another member on the board of E&A to support this deal. After to go around to disrespect, not only the Board of Aldermen but the members of the this committee to suggest that we approved a contract when clearly that’s not the case.
Even though Veolia withdrew, the committee talked about the process at issue. What has been understood by all year long is only the Board of Estimates and Appropriation E&A can approve contracts. Kennedy pointed out that when the Board of Aldermen approved funding for professional development they didn’t indent on approving funding for Veolia. Kennedy told the committee that the bill address the process of and E&A would need to address the bill. Alderwoman Krewson pointed out that she been serving on the Board of Aldermen for years and the Board of Aldermen never approved contracts.
Who’s responsibility to run the water department, or the street department or many other departments…It’s never been a question for me up until now.
St. Louis TV film the whole meeting of October 29th Ways and Means meeting.