[StBernard] SDT Waste Management?

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Fri Nov 3 00:09:50 EST 2006


I've said all along this is a bunch of crap. In short, how people like that
get away with it is by subbing out the actual work to a "real" waste
collection company. Oh sure, they get a few freshly painted signs to tape
up on the trucks that are actually owned assets of the "real" waste
collection company to make it look legitimate. This is how local
politicians and politicos have been getting government contracts for years.
Sometimes politically connected individuals will form a new company with the
sub-contractor. But that's extremely misleading. The partnership in
reality is only to divy up the profits. The politico actually owns none of
the "real" waste collection company that will be doing all the collection

So, how do you put a stop to it? Easy...and this is how it's done in some
other states.

You pass a law that states the company that is putting in for a bid on a
contract (or that is awarded a contract if no bids are solicited) must show
documented proof (by title of ownership) that the company actually owns more
than 50 percent of all the capital assets (heavy equipment like garbage
trucks, etc.) of the entire company that will be used to do the work - OR
the principle owner(s) of same company show proof that each actually shares
in the ownerhip of "all" the equipment assets of the company. Can you now
see how that prevents what's going on here?

For example....let's say I approached a big waste collection company like
Waste Managment and said "look, I have political connections that can get me
a garbage collection contract, but I don't own any necessary heavy equipment
and you do. But, you don't have the connections to get the contract. So,
let's form a company called ABC Inc. and I'll own 15% of the company and WM
principle owners will own 85% - and that's how we'll split the profits with
you guys with - WM doing all the work." So, Waste Management estimates what
it would "normally" charge for such a service then tacks on another 15% for
me - and that's the bid/quote I give to the parish as my price for the
service. Waste Management does all the work and I skim 15% off the top.
Politicians and/or family members and friends have been doing this since day
one on all levels of government, all the way to Washington DC. It's an old

However, with the law I'm talking about, none of this would work with the
example I gave. I would have to prove that I personally have ownership in
the equipment that's actually going to be used to do the work. In other
words, I'd have to prove I'm a principle owner in Waste Managment. If a
can't prove that, then the company I formed with WM or someone like them
just so I could land the contract would be disqualified from bidding or
being awarded the contract.

And don't forget, as a result of the example I gave, we taxpayers/consumers
are getting charged more for the service because of the politico's
percentage being worked into the contract price.

Such a law does not exist in Louisiana. That's too bad. But, with nearly
two-thirds of the next Louisiana legislature being rookie law-makers,
there's a damned good chance such a bill would pass if proposed - especially
with the likes of a Jindal or Boasso in the governor's mansion.

I've felt this way for some time when it comes to the awarding of government
contracts. I believe all contracts - and I mean "all" - should be put out
for bid - including contracts for professional services. I recall a few
years I mentioned my legislative proposal in a conversation at a Chamber
like business funcion. There were some objections. Oddly enough each
person who raised objection to it was either an elected official, an
appointed government official, or a well known politico.....gee, go figure!
Wait a second, I have to take that back - there was one elected official who
agreed with me - that was Lynn Dean.

John Scurich

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