Suffolk Council votes against a new councilor’s permission to bid on a landscaping contract for $ 157,000

SUFFOLK, VA. (WAVY) – A newly elected Suffolk Councilman is unable to make a sealed offer to reclaim a $ 157,000 lawn maintenance contract previously signed with the city.

As 10 On Your Side reported last week, when LeOtis Williams City Council won his seat, the Suffolk City Purchasing Department sent him a notice in January that the contract would not be renewed due to potential conflicts of interest in awarding a city contract to a seated city council.

Williams reached out to the Virginia Advisory Board on Conflicts of Interest and Ethics, which indicated that the council must pass a resolution in support of the treaty in order for Williams to bid on the treaty. That resolution should say that Williams, who has the contract, would be in the best interests of the city’s taxpayers.

Suffolk City Council is trading a $ 157,000 landscaping contract for a $ 15,000 seat on the city council

But on Wednesday, Williams City Council members closed the door to that opportunity.

Councilors Roger Fawcett, Donald Goldberg and Timothy Johnson voted against allowing Williams to bid on the town contract. Mayor Mike Duman and Alderman Lue Ward voted for Williams. Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett abstained.

So Williams lost the chance of the contract 3-2 when a member abstained. Williams was not allowed to vote.

Suffolk City Councilor LeOtis Williams is unable to make a sealed offer to reclaim a $ 157,000 turf deal with the city. Not extended if the contract is selected. Mayor Duman & Lue Ward voted for him to bid. Fawcett, Johnson and Goldberg voted no. Vice Mayor Bennett abstained. @WAVY_News

– Andy Fox (@AndyFoxWAVY) February 4, 2021

Williams’ business, LW’s Lawn Service, was paid $ 157,000 by the city to design several city-owned properties, including Suffolk City Hall, the Riddicks Folley area next door at the Suffolk Visitors Center and the Pavilion. The company also looks after 12 other townhouses and some cemeteries.

Last week, Williams said at a press conference that losing this significant contract could mean his employees lose their jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the Wednesday before the council meeting, a group of Williams’ workers protested outside Suffolk City Hall.

They said they were calling on Suffolk City Council to save their jobs and allow Williams to bid on the contract.

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