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Mark Richardson is a multimedia journalist, editor and writer who has worked in digital, print and broadcast media for three decades. He is a nationally recognized editor and reporter who has covered government, politics and the environment. A journalism graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, he was recently awarded a Foundation for Investigative Journalism grant and has three Associated Press Managing Editors awards for excellence in reporting.
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Rhodes out, city to seek new director for Solid Waste Services
The City of
City Manager Marc Ott said Sunday that Assistant Director Tammie Williamson would serve as Acting Director while the city does a national search for a new director.
Rhodes, who has been director of SWS for nearly approximately 14 years, has been the subject of several controversial episodes in recent years, and has routinely clashed with members the city’s Solid Waste Advisory Commission (SWAC) over policy matters.
In the memo, Assistant City Manager Robert Goode stated that after the reorganization—which was effective immediately—
Mayor-elect Lee Leffingwell said the change was welcome and needed.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction because Solid Waste Services has evolved into a major enterprise, a major part of the city’s green effort,” he said. “My first impression is that several things have come together – including the Solid Waste Master Plan and the Zero Waste plan – that have put a degree of sophistication” into how the Solid Waste Services Department needs to be run.
Attorney Rick Cofer, one of
Three incidents have stirred
In addition, the SWAC complained vociferously to Council when staff sent forth a recommendation for a $1.5 million integrated solid waste management master plan contract with HDR Engineering without consulting the commission. On May 21, Council postponed consideration of the contract.
According to the memo, the City Manager’s office is separating the Code Enforcement Division from the Solid Waste Services Department, and renaming it Code Compliance.
“With this change, we are also beginning to refocus the Code operation from an enforcement model to a compliance model.” Goods said in his memo. “This change may be perceived as minor, but the intent is to reach compliance using cooperation, coordination, and communication.”
Goode said there would be few budget changes immediately as the two entities would share administrative, financial and human resources functions. He said the funding structure will not change immediately, but during the upcoming budget process, his department will study ways to change the “mix of revenues that fund both Code and Solid Waste Services.”
In Fact Daily reached
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