City Hall Says Flow Control Will Bring In Millions. Attorneys Will Also Be Paid Quite Well.

trashdump.jpg
Smells like money.
I know -- this whole tussle over "flow control" probably doesn't do much for some of you. So long as your trash goes away, it doesn't matter where it goes or who takes it there. Let the waste-haulers and City Hallers duke it out in the courtroom. Just make sure they pick up the garbage on their way out.

But perhaps this gets your attention? Tomorrow the city council will vote to pay the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher a landfill's worth of green to represent the city in the federal lawsuit brought by the National Solid Wastes Management Association about a month back. There was supposed to be a hearing concerning the NSWMA's request for a temporary injunction on Thursday, you may recall, but it's been pushed back to January 12 while the city and the waste-haulers prep their docs due in coming days. Implementation of the ordinance, which was supposed to take effect January 2, has been paused till at least early February. Meanwhile: Gibson Dunn's attorneys will take home $175,000 (out of "current funds") for their work on the city's behalf, and we aren't even at the starting line.

You can read the council's heads-up on the other side. Guess you gotta spend money to make money, right? (The city says forcing all the waste-haulers to dump at city sites will increase revenue by $15 million to $18 million annually.) After the jump you'll also find a video posted this week by the students of Paul Quinn College who are vehemently opposed to more trash headed their way.

Council Vote on Flow Control Legal Bill
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22 comments
Southernsector
Southernsector

PaulQuinn doesn't want another 900,000 tons of trash trucked into their communityfor the same reason that people in Lake Highlands or Farmers Branch wouldn'twant it. It creates more pollution, more traffic, damages the roads andotherwise creates the impression that their community is the dumping ground forthe entire city.

It creates more pollution, more traffic,damages the roads and otherwise creates the impression that their community isthe dumping ground for the entire city. The previous system had the trash beingequally distributed throughout the region. Downtown wouldn't support a grocerystore without a million dollars subsidy. That was o.k. with no requirement thatdowntown accept additional garbage or make some other negative concession. PaulQuinn is joined in its opposition to flow control by The Greater Dallas Chamberof Commerce, The Apartment Association of Greater Dallas and the Greater Dallas RestaurantAssociation.   

Southernsector
Southernsector

Paul Quinn has undertaken this issue on its own because of its concern for the community. The same reason they turned their football field into a garden. Waste haulers are not involved in those efforts and are not contributing to the college.  As the Paul Quinn president said after the city's presentation even the newest freshman thought flow control was a dumb idea and that the city's reasoning for supporting flow control was flawed. The council needs to listen to the community on this issue.  

Ellum08
Ellum08

Have any of the waste-haulers made donations to Paul Quinn lately?

trudat
trudat

Money messed over by minions in monkey suits (aka politicians) is fairly common.  The voters always forget by next election unless something really big happens.  But to me; the 300 pound baby monster in the room is the sentiment of the people in that district.  Check out the video.  That monster could morph into a blood thirsty blood hound who tracks folks (and messed over money) down.  Tenell Atkins' minions and anybody holding his coattails might want to open their eyes and pay attention.  

Jim Bob Guthrie
Jim Bob Guthrie

Gibson Dunn lawyers are the most expensive in town, and not worth the premium.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

I was first to say this deal had serious free enterprise issues . City will spend millions like they did on Topless ordinance to lose.Spent other millions since 1979 on Police lawsuite going to lose.When will Citizens speak out on this clear waste of money.

Darrd2010
Darrd2010

Somebody at City Hall is so determined to make this happen that they are hiring 'out'.Somebody at City Hall and/or their connections is going to make money on this.

Montemalone
Montemalone

I thought we had city attorneys on staff. Would it be too much to ask for a city employee to do the job for which it's paid?

DownandoutinDallas
DownandoutinDallas

 This is just the down payment on what will be a long and costly legal battle. If the case goes to the Supreme Court, as some other flow control have done, it could easily cost taxpayers $1 million. Wonder if the legal costs will be taken out of the "cut" Southern Dallas gets for development?

Lorlee
Lorlee

Why do we even have a City Attorney when we have to keep hiring outside counsel?

Ellum08
Ellum08

You didn't really answer any of my questions, but that is ok.

The fact of the matter is that the city dump is already where it is. I really don't care about whether more trash is taken down there or not. I just find it interesting that the neighborhood is just now making a big deal of the city dump being in their neighborhood, although the trucks wouldn't pass through the actual neighborhood or be close to Paul Quinn, but whatever.

You are spot on about the downtown grocery. Which is why I can't see the point of the city shelling out money for another losing proposition. What, the City shouldn't build a convention center hotel, but it should build a grocery for a neighborhood?

Ellum08
Ellum08

Do you know for a fact a waste-hauler hasn't made a donation to Paul Quinn? I don't, which is why I am asking the question.

The reason Paul Quinn was able to turn its football field into a garden and start to improve the campus was due to large donations from Meadows, Trammel Crow, etc.

Along that same line of thinking, who is to say that waste-haulers aren't using Paul Quinn to keep the heat on the city on this issue, keep it in the press, give Jim something to write about other than the Trinity? 

And what exactly is the community's vision for that area? We don't want the extra trash or we don't want the dump period. We want a grocery store, although if the factors were favorable in that area, wouldn't there already be one?

Just curious.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Regretfully the city and staff are not accounable to the voting public or the tax payers.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Maybe there's conflict of interest when using City attorneys on things like this.  I mean, if they're getting kick-backs from the contractors, you can hardly expect them to stand in front of a judge arguing the city's case.  That would be unethical.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Guess I should have looked at the existing comments before adding my 3 cents (inflation).

RTGolden
RTGolden

Remember, the 'South Dallas Development' funds are a percentage of the profits from flow control.  These legal fees will definitely reduce those profits, thus reducing the cut So. Dallas gets.  I believe too that the SD cut is only from the profits from the recycling portion of the flow control project.

Fletch
Fletch

That's a damn good question...one I was wondering myself.  What good is the city's crack legal team if they can't even represent them in court?  Is their purpose solely to counsel city leaders on the best legal workarounds for shady dealings that ultimately screw the citizens?

Montemalone
Montemalone

Since when have ethics ever stood between an attorney and a case?

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

The City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania filed for bankruptcy last month as a result of building a trash to energy incinerator that took the City's finances down like a lead anchor.

http://www.businessweek.com/ne...

I wouldn't be counting my share of the profits just yet if they are tied to a waste-to-energy money making scheme (I can't remember Mary Nix's plan, I just remember it making my head hurt).

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

The City tends to handle transactional matters, code interpretation, HR, and certain kinds of litigation (e.g. civil rights suits against DPD, zoning enforcement) in house.  The City Attorney usually hires out for larger cases or stuff that's outside the office's normal expertise.

In both categories, we tend to get poor representation.  Hiring Gibson Dunn may be an attempt to remedy that problem.  Fantastic firm, but we will absolutely pay through the nose for their services.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Yeah, it's been a bad idea from the start.  Which means it will probably get the go-ahead in Dallas.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

With respect to Gibson Dunn, I was thinking the same thing-- we'll get good representation for once, rather than using one of the usual politically connected (but mediocre) local firms.

As to the merits of the case, well that's another matter entirely.

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