Rick Kriseman Archives - Page 6 of 41 - SaintPetersBlog

Chris Latvala says City of St. Pete ‘still not being truthful’ when it comes to sewage spills

It’s been a relatively quiet week regarding the major sewage spills in St. Petersburg that have now resulted in state and federal investigations, and become a political issue for Mayor Rick Kriseman. But his administration got a kick in the shin from Clearwater House Republican Chris Latvala at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club Wednesday.

“As far as the dumping that’s going on in St.Petersburg, the city administration is still is not being truthful to the extent of what is going or what happened, but it’s unconscionable what happened,” Latvala said, referencing the fact that Mayor Kriseman originally claimed that a 58 million-gallon sewage spill from the city’s Northwest wastewater treatment plant earlier this month wasn’t wastewater, but admitted last Friday that it was “partially treated” wastewater.

Latvala went on to say he met last year with Gulfport City Council member Yolanda Roman to talk about the sewage issues that city was suffering from, even though Gulfport isn’t in his district. “So I met with her, and she told me about the sewer issues that they were having in Gulfport. St. Pete has never mentioned that to any of the legislators.”

Mayor Kriseman’s office declined to comment on his statement.

Meanwhile, House District 69 Republican Kathleen Peters told the audience at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club what concerns her most about the sewage issue was when she was informed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection last week at a delegation meeting that of all the sewer spills in Florida in 2016, Pinellas County was responsible for more than half. She said the potential environmental damage will cause more algae blooms and bacteria that “is going to hurt our tourism industry. It is going to hurt our quality of life. We have spent too many decades trying to clean up our waterways.”

Referring to how it took Tampa Bay decades to reduce its nitrogen pollution, she declared, “How dare we go backwards.”

But HD 66 Democratic candidate Lorena Grizzle downplayed the sewage situation, at least in comparison to the massive sinkhole created last month at phosphate giant Mosaic’s Polk County facility (the candidates at Tiger Bay were asked which situation was more serious). She mentioned how her mother Mary Grizzle — the first Republican female ever elected to the Florida state Senate — teamed up with Clearwater Sen. Harold Wilson in 1972 to pass a law that prohibited the discharge of secondarily treated sewage into South Florida bays and required wastewater treatment plants to meet state-of-the-art standards.

“This is a temporary thing,” she said. “It’s not the most dangerous thing that can happen.” She called the situation at Mosaic, “the worst thing that we have going on now because that’s now 750 feet deep (referring to reports that the sinkhole is possibly now that deep) they think it’s going into the aquifer, which is gypsum and radioactivity, and it’s got sulfites and sodium.”

 

 

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St. Pete, Gulfport celebrate two cities, one street

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson will work together this Saturday to help clean up a street that’s common to both cities.

After the cleanup, St. Petersburg police Chief Anthony Holloway and Gulfport police Chief Rob Vincent will hold their own community event to discuss how the departments are collaborating on issues common to the 49th Street South corridor that both share.

“This event brings residents from both great cities together to work collaboratively along the 49th Street corridor,” St. Petersburg spokesman Ben Kirby said. “Mayor Kriseman is looking forward to standing with Mayor Henderson, and with members of the City of St. Petersburg team, for the third year in a row to help make St. Petersburg and Gulfport shine.”

The event is sponsored by the Gulfport Neighbors and Childs Park community associations.

Registration for the event begins at 7:45 a.m. at the east end of the Tangerine Greenway, which is at Tangerine Avenue and 49th Street South. The mayors’ welcome will begin at 8:30 a.m. with cleanup scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

The chiefs’ discussion on ways the departments are working together to curb crime in the mutual area is scheduled to kick off at 10:30 a.m. The setting will be informal and residents are encouraged to ask questions, express concerns, and offer suggestions.

Festivities, including a lunch, prizes, and games, is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Residents from St. Pete and Gulfport are welcome at the event.

St Pete Gulfport Cleanup

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Rick Kriseman, St. Pete Council members join call to stop gun violence

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and council members Lisa Wheeler-Bowman and Amy Foster will join the 2016 Vocal Majority Bus Tour Thursday as it stops in the city to call on voters this November to help stop gun violence.

The event will be the fourth stop of the 2016 Vocal Majority Tour — a six-week, 14-state national bus tour that stretches until Election Day. The Vocal Majority Tour is traveling to communities in battleground states and districts for grassroots events with local leaders, elected officials, and candidates to help ignite supporters and elevate gun violence prevention in elections this fall. It is led by the Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly.

Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC (ARS PAC) works to elect candidates at every level of public office who show the political courage to stand up to the gun lobby, are passionate about reducing gun violence in our communities, and who commit to taking action once elected. Since 2013, ARS PAC has supported Champions for Common Sense in key federal, gubernatorial, and state races — and supported the passage of ballot initiatives — in states around the country.

Kriseman, Wheeler-Bowman, and Foster will join the tour at 10:40 a.m. Thursday on the steps of St. Petersburg City Hall, 175 Fifth St. N. The event will begin at 11 a.m.

 

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Civic leaders seek polling place for early voting in south St. Pete

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman joined community activists Friday in urging Pinellas County elections supervisor Deborah Clark to open a polling place for early voting in south St. Petersburg.

Kriseman and the others, the Revs. Manuel Sykes of Bethel Community Baptist Church and Louis Murphy of Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, said access to early voting is crucial to giving people a voice in choosing the elected officials who represent them. With many people working jobs and taking care of children, early voting is an important right.

They agreed that Clark’s office does have early polling places but none are in south St. Pete. The closest is at the Court House, 545 First Ave. N.

That’s not convenient for all who don’t have transportation. Those who do find it difficult to get a parking place in downtown St. Petersburg. Those parking places cost money and police are diligent about fining those who park overtime, they said.

Kriseman said the city had written Clark a letter offering the Lake Vista Recreation Center, 1401 62nd Ave. S, as a possible polling location. Kriseman said the city was willing to work with Clark’s office to make access to early voting a priority.

“The response we got was, ‘Sorry, we’re not interested,’” Kriseman said.

Jason Latimer, elections office spokesman, said officials in Clark’s office were confident that they have provided easy ballot access to all Pinellas voters by using mail ballots. Latimer said about 41 percent of voters are using mail-in ballots, which go directly to peoples’ homes and can be voted on at one’s leisure. Those can be mailed back to Clark’s office or dropped off at the tax office across the street from Lake Vista, he said.

He added that, because this is a presidential election, the clerk’s office is going to open two satellite early voting places in addition to the three at the various elections offices. One of those is in Palm Harbor. The other is in nearby Gulfport at the Gulfport Neighborhood Center, 1617 49th St. S.

 

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Mitch Perry Report for 9.23.16 – Fall follies

Welcome to the first full day of fall, Florida style. Now maybe it will actually start to feel like a different season in say, about a month from now?

Speaking of the weather, good luck to the student-athletes at USF and Florida State University who will be playing in the excessively hot and humid conditions at high noon on Saturday at Raymond James Stadium. Or should I say, good luck to the fans who will be sitting under that unforgiving sun for close to four hours.

There was some high drama in St. Petersburg late yesterday afternoon, as Mayor Rick Kriseman went before his City Council to deal with the latest fallout from Sewergate. It’s evident that the mayor is truly paying the price for his lack of transparency when he failed to inform them the public about the 58 million gallons of waste that spilled from the Northwest treatment plant. The mayor has said that because it wasn’t sewage, there was no reason to alert the public.

No doubt he rues that decision today.

Meanwhile, up in Charlotte, North Carolina, the mayor and police chief there are continuing to insist that it’s not appropriate to release a videotape that shows the shooting and killing of of Keith L. Scott, who was killed by a Charlotte police officer earlier this week. There’s no good reason not to, unless officials think somehow it will piss the community off further – in which case, they should still release the video.

Ever hear of Robert Pittenger? I hadn’t either, but now I have, thanks to his ignorant statement he gave to the BBC last night. The Charlotte GOP Congressman said about the anger in Charlotte, “The grievance in their mind is the animus, the anger. They hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not. I mean, yes, it is, it is a welfare state. We have spent trillions of dollars on welfare, and we’ve put people in bondage so they can’t be all that they are capable of being.”

In other casual racism news, a volunteer coordinator for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in Ohio resigned yesterday after the Guardian published a video interview in which she said there was “no racism” until President Obama came into office and that black people who’ve struggled to succeed since the 1960s have no one to blame but themselves.

“If you’re black and you haven’t been successful in the last 50 years, it’s your own fault,”Kathy Miller, chair of Trump’s campaign in Mahoning County, Ohio, said in the interview. “You’ve had every opportunity, it was given to you.”

Incidentally, Colin Kaepernick has made the cover of this week’s Time magazine.

In other news…

Patrick Murphy needs some help in getting his name familiar with Latino voters in Florida. His campaign is banking on the hiring of Freddy Balsera to be the cure.

Speaking of Hispanic voters in Florida, yes, Hillary Clinton has a substantial lead over Donald Trump with that demographic, but it’s smaller than Barack Obama’s pace of victory in ’08 and 2012.

Marco Rubio is getting in on the fun regarding St. Petersburg’s sewage problem, penning a letter to the EPA asking them to investigate what happened with a report on closing the Albert Whitted Treatment Plant that never made it to Mayor Rick Kriseman’s desk.

Starting Monday, Tampa’s Streetcar will be operating at 7 a.m. to begin transporting folks from downtown to Ybor City and back.

Indie SD 18 candidate Joe Redner says he’s only getting started in his uphill race against Dana Young & Bob Buesing. 

And Tim Canova will not go away quietly. The former insurgent Democratic party challenger to Debbie Wasserman Schultz announces he will create a new political action committee.

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St. Pete City Council orders outside audit of sewer report

Rick-KrisemanSt. Petersburg City Council members voted Thursday unanimously to call in outside auditors to find out why a 2014 sewer report was never given to the mayor or council.

It’s also likely that the committee will bring in an outside consultant to evaluate the management of the city’s water resources department. The item will be on an upcoming agenda of a council committee. It’s likely the consultant will also be asked to widen the evaluation to include both the sanitation and information technology departments.

The decision came after a couple of weeks of battering for a 151 million gallon sewage spill into Tampa Bay and surrounding waters. Between 35 and 40 residents had sewage back up into their homes.

The wastewater discharge was caused by a sewer system overburdened by rains from a tropical storm that passed offshore. The storm, which later became Hurricane Hermine, dumped heavy rain on Pinellas County.

Mayor Rick Kriseman has blamed the system overflow in part on a worn infrastructure that allowed rainwater to infiltrate pipes and overwhelm the system.

Another component to the problem was the April 2015 closure of the Albert Whitted sewer plant. Wastewater from the plant was diverted to the nearby Southwest plant, which is slated for expansion. Kriseman has said officials’ belief that the Southwest plant could handle the overflow was based on conclusions in consultants’ studies.

A 2014 report, however, said the city would risk an overflow if Albert Whitted were closed before Southwest was expanded. Kriseman and council members said they never received that report. It’s that report that the council wants traced to find out what happened and why members weren’t told of its conclusions.

Kriseman on Wednesday put two midlevel directors on unpaid leave, saying the water resources department “had weak leadership” who had “a degree of disregard for decision makers.”

Kriseman told council members he also intends to hire a public information officer whose sole job would be to keep people informed of happenings in the water resources department. That would include the progress of repairs and improvements to the system and communications about problems in the system whether those arise from storms or other causes.

The council agreed with Kriseman that, once work begins on the expansion of the Southwest plant and other improvements, workers would be on site seven days a week and be able to work double shifts. The goal is to have the system ready for the 2018 storm season to help avoid a future overflow.

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St. Pete Public Works Director: Albert Whitted should not have been closed

The head of St. Petersburg’s Public Works department told City Council members Thursday that he now believes the Albert Whitted sewer plant should not have been closed until the capacity at the Southwest plant had been increased.

“I want to make it perfectly clear that it is my opinion, and the opinion of my plant operators [that] the Southwest plant should have been expanded before Albert Whitted was closed,” Claude Tankersley said.

St. Petersburg City Councilmembers spent three hours Thursday hearing from Mayor Rick Kriseman and Tankersley about recent discharges of raw and partially treated sewage into Tampa Bay and other waterways.

Tankersley’s statement was not welcome.

Steve Kornell reminded Tankersley, who has been with the city about six months, that he did not tell Councilmembers that during a June meeting. Kornell wondered what caused the change.

“The change was me learning more,” Tankersley said.

Tankersley spent the weekend reading four studies that preceded the April 2015 closure of Albert Whitted — a 2010 study that laid out the proposal to close Albert Whitted and divert wastewater to the Southwest plant, which would be expanded; and a 2011 study that apparently backed up the 2010 study. Both indicated Albert Whitted could be closed before the Southwest plan was expanded.

The other two were a 2013 study that indicated that backed off a bit on the assurance that Southwest could handle the overflow during a heavy rain event. He also read a 2014 study that was allegedly withheld from the mayor and the council that said Albert Whitted should not be closed until after Southwest was expanded.

“I didn’t know that existed,” Tankersley said, referring to the 2014 report. As for the reason he had not read the others, Tankersley explained that he thought the decision to close Albert Whitted had been thoroughly vetted.

The reports were different because the earlier reports relied on data that was gathered during the drought of the late 1990s, early 2000s. That made it appear, he said, that the city’s sewer system was functioning more efficiently than it was. The two later reports were made after the annual rainfall had started returning to normal.

Tankersley added that having Albert Whitted online would not have prevented the overflow that happened as Hurricane Hermine dumped torrential rains on Pinellas County.

“Even if Albert Whitted had been open during the storm, we would have had problems,” Tankersley said. “This isn’t about Albert Whitted.”

That wasn’t a satisfactory answer for Amy Foster who said she was concerned that Tankersley had checked the data and assumptions after an earlier overflow this past summer.

“I feel like we’re caught in Groundhog Day,” Foster said, adding that the same issues regarding the city’s sewer system keep coming back before the council.

She also criticized Tankersley and the city administration for not revealing the extent of a 58 million gallon overflow.

“Lies of omission are lies,” Foster said.

Foster was not the only council member angered by the situation.

“Like a lot of people in our community, I’m mad about what’s is going on,” Ed Montanari said. “If this was a private business that did this, God help them.”

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Joe Henderson: St. Pete’s stinky mess, sewage and politics

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is angry — MAD, I tell you! — that Gov. Rick Scott is playing politics just because the city’s streets and waterways were covered in sewage following Hurricane Hermine.

Um, Mr. Mayor?

I suspect you already know this, but you have a lot bigger problems than the Republican governor of the state turning a major mess in the city controlled by a Democratic mayor (that’s you, sir) into political capital.

Of course, politics will be involved, and Scott did what politicians do when he quite properly ordered the state Department of Environmental Protection to investigate just how badly St. Petersburg screwed this thing up. It was political, too, when Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly asked for federal intervention into the matter.

Jolly’s move is a bit snarky. Like Charlie Crist, his opponent for the CD 13 seat in November, pointed out in their debate Monday, where was Jolly when the streets started looking and smelling bad? Jolly said he wasn’t asked to get involved.

Bad answer.

But Scott’s moves, while political, also are things the governor should be doing. He ought to be turning up the heat to broiling. That includes his order for the state health department to test whether some beaches and water for lingering effects of the sewage flood that turned parts of a lovely city into a stinky mess.

That prompted this rebuttal from Kriseman:

“The Department of Environmental Protection is already involved in this issue, and given that the governor is singling out St. Petersburg and ignoring the actions of governments across our region, we have to chalk this up to politics,” he said in a statement released by his office.

Actually, the governor said spills in other parts of the area are being investigated as well. But unless there is some information that has yet to become public, none of those other places had a blunt warning two years ago to expect this result if a big storm hit.

That is what a city-commissioned study predicted in 2014 after officials shut down the Albert Whitted treatment plant to save money. Kriseman said he never saw that report and apparently neither did city council members, but everyone knows about it now after an official in the wastewater department produced it last week.

That official promptly asked for whistleblower protection, which is an indication of how volatile this report is. Kriseman has already suspended two major leaders the wastewater department, and we’ll all be surprised if there isn’t a top-to-bottom overhaul there.

Well and good.

St. Petersburg follows the strong mayor form of government, which essentially means Kriseman is the CEO and oversees the city’s day-to-day operations.

When something like this happens, the buck naturally is going to stop at his desk, and there will be fallout from the political opposition. Kriseman’s better response for Scott’s decree would be to welcome the DEP investigators, the health department, and any other agencies who show up at his door.

Sure, they’re coming for his scalp. Welcome them anyway. They will write scathing reports about how badly things got bungled here. The public already knows this, so the mayor should just swallow the medicine coming his way and do whatever it takes — beg, borrow, whatever — to make sure this never happens again.

In the meantime, consider this. Upgrading the city’s water treatment system to handle a storm like Hermine, or worse, could take a couple of years. Hold your breath.

Or at least your nose.

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Marco Rubio latest lawmaker to call for the EPA to investigate St. Petersburg sewage issue

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio is the most latest Florida lawmaker calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to investigate St. Petersburg’s sewage crisis.

“It is important that residents know if their City leadership turned a blind eye towards the inevitability of a sewage spill at the cost of the local waterways and beaches,” Rubio writes in a letter penned to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “I welcome the EPA’s immediate assistance into this matter, and stand ready to work with you to fix these problems.”

The aftermath of the result of more than 150 million gallons of partially treated sewage and wastewater that was discharged into Boca Ceiga Bay and Tampa Bay from Hurricane Hermine has become a huge political issue for Mayor Rick Kriseman and his administration in the past week. Rubio’s entreaty to the EPA is following similar requests made by Tampa Bay area Congress members David Jolly and Kathy Castor. On Wednesday, Governor Rick Scott  ordered the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to investigate.

In his letter, Rubio references the comments made last week by Craven R. Askew, the chief plant operator at St. Petersburg’s Northeast wastewater treatment facility, who told city officials that a consultant’s report from 2014 stated that that sewage dumps and spills were possible if the city shut down the Albert Whitted sewer plant, which happened in 2015.

Kriseman says he never saw the report, and has called for an investigation to determine why.

On Wednesday, the mayor put two top city wastewater officials who were involved in the closure of the Albert Whitted plant on unpaid leave. One of them, engineering director Tom Gibson, signed the task order for that consultant’s report, the Tampa Bay Times reported on Thursday.

Rubio, a Republican running for re-election to the U.S. Senate this November against Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy, also questions the transparency of the Kriseman administration in his letter.

“It is troubling that the City itself cannot agree on what was contained in the sewage released, and this begs the question of whether this was a factor in City officials’ decision not to tell the public about the release until five days after it occurred,” Rubio writes. In fact, a whistleblower, Mr. Craven Askew, claims the City was aware a sewage spill could happen and did nothing to halt the release.  It is my understanding that previous spills in 2015 and 2016 were conveyed by consultants to the City as early as 2014, and that City leadership chose not to act and instead moved forward with closing the Albert Whitted Water Reclamation Facility even after being advised against it.  It is important that residents know if their City leadership turned a blind eye towards the inevitability of a sewage spill at the cost of the local waterways and beaches.”

The full text of Rubio’s letter can be read below:

The Honorable Gina McCarthy

Administrator

Environmental Protection Agency

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20460

September 21, 2016

Dear Administrator McCarthy,

As Hurricane Hermine moved through the Tampa Bay region, it left in its wake an environmental issue that appears to have been wholly preventable and, as recently reported in a whistleblower complaint, should have been foreseen and dealt with a number of years ago.  Although the State of Florida is currently investigating the situation, I request the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assist the State of Florida in assessing this spill brought on by the City of St. Petersburg.

According to recent reports, the City of St. Petersburg released about 151 million gallons of raw and partially-treated sewage into Tampa and Boca Ciega Bays.  The exact amount of the release is actually unknown due to a broken flow meter out of the wastewater treatment plant.  The sewage release occurred after the City’s wastewater treatment plants were overwhelmed during Hurricane Hermine, a result of the City’s decision to close one of its plants in 2015.  I believe the residents of Pinellas County deserve to know what, and how much, was released into their waterways and how it may affect the water quality in the area.

It is troubling that the City itself cannot agree on what was contained in the sewage released, and this begs the question of whether this was a factor in City officials’ decision not to tell the public about the release until five days after it occurred.  In fact, a whistleblower, Mr. Craven Askew, claims the City was aware a sewage spill could happen and did nothing to halt the release.  It is my understanding that previous spills in 2015 and 2016 were conveyed by consultants to the City as early as 2014, and that City leadership chose not to act and instead moved forward with closing the Albert Whitted Water Reclamation Facility even after being advised against it.  It is important that residents know if their City leadership turned a blind eye towards the inevitability of a sewage spill at the cost of the local waterways and beaches.

Tampa Bay’s waters are a cherished and economically fruitful ecosystem.  I am concerned its rebounded sea grasses will suffer now and into the future, especially because we are not yet done with the current hurricane season and another storm could yield another disturbing spillage.  For these reasons, I welcome the EPA’s immediate assistance into this matter, and stand ready to work with you to fix these problems.

Respectfully,

Marco Rubio

U.S. Senator

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St. Pete Councilmember wants to consider reopening Albert Whitted sewage facility

Steve KornellSteve Kornell says he wants to revisit the 2011 decision to close the Albert Whitted sewage plant and to take another look at the decision to move all biosolids to the Southwest plant.

The reason? He doesn’t trust that city staff gave council full, unbiased information when members made those decisions.

Kornell made the announcement Wednesday on his Facebook page:

“I have placed a new business item on the agenda for the Oct. 6 city council meeting asking that city council reconsider the decision to close the Albert Whitted plant and to work to reopen it as soon as possible. I am also asking that we reconsider the decision to move all bio- solids to the already clearly overloaded SW Plant. Let’s see how it goes this time.”

Later Wednesday, Kornell said, “I think we should have this discussion again in light of recent events.”

Kornell was referring in part to the dumping of 150 million gallons of partially treated wastewater, and stormwater mixed with raw sewage from manholes into Tampa Bay during three storms this past summer. City officials have blamed crumbling pipes and lack of capacity for the discharges.

The lack of capacity was caused in part by the closure of the Albert Whitted treatment plant and the subsequent diversion of the wastewater to the Southwest plant. City officials have said they believed the Southwest plant had enough capacity to handle the wastewater normally flowing into it as well as the wastewater from Albert Whitted. That belief was based on a 2010 or 2011 study that concluded the closure of Albert Whitted would not tax Southwest. Based on that study, a unanimous council in early 2011 gave preliminary approval to the closure of Albert Whitted.

But before a final vote was taken, Kornell said, a resident found another study on the city’s website that said it would be better to divert the Albert Whitted wastewater to three other sites, not just one. Based on that study, Kornell said, he and then-council member Wengay Newton were the only two to vote against the closure of Albert Whitted.

Last week, a city employee, Craven Askew, told officials that there was a 2014 study that said Southwest could not handle the wastewater from Albert Whitted. Askew, who claimed whistleblower status, said city officials knew that overflows would occur if Albert Whitted was finally closed. That closure happened in 2014.

Mayor Rick Kriseman has said neither he nor council members had heard of the study until Askew revealed it. Kriseman has asked for an investigation into the city’s water resources department and, Wednesday, he put two midlevel water resources employees on unpaid administrative leave.

Kornell backed up Kriseman, saying that would not be the first time city staff members appear to have withheld or slanted information that does not jibe with staff recommendations.

“I will tell you there’s a pattern of not sharing studies with us,” Kornell said. “So when the mayor says we didn’t receive a report, it wouldn’t be the first time.”

That lack of trust, Kornell said, is also prompting him to call for a review of the decision to move biosolids to Southwest without a backup solution. Biosolids are the organic, solid matter derived from sewage.

Kornell said his questions about the wisdom of not having a backup were greeted with “a very snarky, smug answer. … They just blew it off.”

But, it just doesn’t make sense, he said, to have only one place for biosolids. If something happens to Southwest, which is clearly overburdened, then the city would be in real trouble. And in view of the news that information is being withheld from the council, it just makes sense to ask questions and take a closer look at recommendations, he said.

“If we’ve learned anything at all, it’s to question,” Kornell said. “As long as I feel staff is slanting information, I will continue” to ask.

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