The Savannah City Council ended up awarding a storm debris collection contract to the recommended firm Thursday, after delaying a vote three times.
The 6-3 vote means Florida-based Ceres Environmental Services will now be responsible for cleaning up after natural disasters in the city, with the second- and third-ranked companies assisting if needed.
Aldermen John Hall, Mary Osborne and Estella Shabazz voted against awarding the contract to Ceres, which earned the top score after being evaluated by staff based on experience, qualifications, references and fees. All three had voiced support to awarding the contract to third-ranked company AshBritt Environmental instead.
Hall, Osborne and Shabazz said they preferred AshBritt because of its partnership with a local minority-owned company, The Polote Corporation, and because it pledged a larger minority and women owned business participation rate.
Their preference came despite AshBritt’s cost for services totaling $1,991 per unit, which is $806 more than Ceres. City Manager Stephanie Cutter had also warned the council that federal reimbursements would be threatened if they did not select the highest ranked proposal.
Osborne said that AshBritt’s higher fees meant that workers would be paid more.
The city of Savannah’s bond rating improved from AA to AA+ late last week in response to more balanced city coffers.
Standard and Poor’s upgraded the city from AA, to AA+, which is just below the highest rating it gives.
“What that means for our citizens is it’s cheaper for the city of Savannah to borrow money now,” said city spokesman Bret Bell.
And the thought of saving money is something some taxpayers are excited about.
“It’s good to know that they’re in good standing with their money and they’re spending right. It makes me feel like my tax money is going to something good,” said resident Sheila Brown.
Farmers are taking sides in a battle over the quality of Vidalia onions, the iconic brand grown in south Georgia that’s known around the world.
In response to concerns in recent years about inferior onions on the market, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black has imposed new regulations on when the vegetables can be packed. The reason: Black has said that onions harvested too early have resulted in inferior Vidalia onions with shorter shelf lives.
COVINGTON — Early voting for Tuesday’s Municipal Election in Covington, Conyers and Mansfield and the Rockdale County E-SPLOST wrapped up Friday. Turnout was light, according to data from elections officials.
In Conyers, a total of 1,283 votes have been cast in the mayoral and E-SPLOST elections — 1,238 in person and 45 by mail, according to the Rockdale County Board of Elections. Continue reading
UPDATE FRIDAY EVENING:
The early voting period in Floyd County came to an end late Friday afternoon and just shy of 3,100 people took advantage of the opportunity to cast a ballot before Election Day.
According to figures provided to WRGA by the Floyd County Elections Office Friday, 590 votes were tallied on the final day of early voting, bringing the grand total for the three week period to 3,093. Early Voting began Monday October 14th at the Floyd County Administration Building, though this past week people were also able to utilize the Rome Civic Center to vote.
Election Day is this Tuesday November 5th and all Floyd County voting precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
ALBANY, GA (WALB) – It’s slow going for early voting in Albany. 11,000 people are registered to vote in Wards II and III, but just a little more than 100 of them have voted so far in those two contested city commission races.
The Elections Supervisor is surprised turnout is so low. The office has received 34 absentee ballots and just broke the 100 mark of voters this morning even though it’s the third week of early voting.
“I believe the candidates are doing their part to make sure the voters are aware they are running for office, and there is an election,” said Ginger Nickerson, Election Supervisor. “I just can’t really answer why they haven’t come out yet. But we’re still waiting on them.”
The special election to fill the Georgia House District 127 seat has attracted significant campaign cash, with most of it going to former Glenn Hills athletic standout Brian Prince.
Prince, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, has raised nearly four times as much as his nearest competitor, with $34,936 in the five weeks since qualifying began for the seat left open with the August death of Rep. Quincy Murphy, D-Augusta.
A married father of four, Prince received the maximum $1,000 donation from 10 people.
“As a freshman coming in, I’ll do a lot of listening, try to meet people and figure out who the power players are,” Prince, 49, said of the year left in Murphy’s term he’ll serve if he wins the Tuesday election. “I’m coming there to work with everybody, in particular those who are making decisions, who are in power.”
Centralized power is missing from local government, and Prince said he was willing to work at the state level to increase the authority of Augusta’s mayor, whose position is limited by existing laws to that of a spokesman and figurehead.
The Gwinnett GOP’s “Republican Rumble” is likely to become an annual event after a successful first year last weekend.
Party Chairwoman Rachel Little said about 200 to 250 people came out to Thrasher Park in Norcross, including elected officials, candidates, conservative groups and interested voters. The chili was pretty good, too.
“(Last Saturday) was a busy day in Georgia with events scheduled all over the State. The candidates for U.S. Senate and Congressional District 10 made Gwinnett County a priority because they understand that the road to D.C. runs through Gwinnett,” Little said. “Everyone had a great time and experienced a unique opportunity to meet the candidates and talk to them about issues that are important to Gwinnett County.”
If the chili is any indication, Karen Handel could do well in the U.S. Senate race, as her team’s recipe won the “People Choice” honor in the contest. And while Eugene Yu may be one of the least known candidates, tasters named his team’s chili the best among his fellow candidates.