When the City Council’s natural resources committee met June 4, it requested an analysis of the benefits and costs of mandatory recycling from the Mayor’s Office.

The strong-mayor system of city government means that such requests — which require staff research — go through Mayor Jerry Sanders’ office, which now oversees most city staff.

The council committee asked for the update by its June 20 meeting. But the committee didn’t get the update then, and the Mayor’s Office now says it won’t provide it at all.

The committee sought to have Elmer Heap, director of the city’s Environmental Services Department, appear at its meeting tomorrow. The Mayor’s Office is refusing to allow him to attend.

City Councilwoman Donna Frye said that runs counter to the city charter, which says:

Any City official or department head in the administrative service may be summoned to appear before the Council or any committee of the Council to provide information or answer any question.

The refusal escalates a disagreement about recycling policies between the Mayor’s Office and Frye, the committee’s chairwoman. When Heap appeared at the May committee meeting, he told council members that a construction debris recycling station at the Miramar Landfill was no longer needed. But he provided no documents or analysis saying why the construction recycling facility — approved by City Council in 2005 — wouldn’t be built.

Frye chided Heap for briefing the committee without any supporting materials explaining the recycling facility’s delay. The Mayor’s Office fired back at Frye, telling her to be more courteous to its staff.

A memo from Sanders’ office says it will bring forward a recycling ordinance in the fall “that will include input from all affected stakeholders and will outline what more we need to do in our recycling efforts.”

Frye is holding a press conference at 12:15 p.m. to talk about this.


Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.