Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Stamper Introduces Bill to Fire American Sewer Services

"Yes, I support a termination of his contract, and I wish I could do it immediately..." says Alderman.

By - Dec 24th, 2017 01:01 pm
Sign-up for the Urban Milwaukee daily email
American Sewer Services employees. Left photo by Brian Oliver. Right photo by Sam Singleton-Freeman.

American Sewer Services employees. Left photo by Brian Oliver. Right photo by Sam Singleton-Freeman.

An embattled city contractor could see their contracts terminated if Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II has his way. Stamper has introduced a Common Council resolution to order the termination of the Hartford-based American Sewer Services’ city contracts.

Following the discovery of American Sewer employees openly carrying firearms on a job site in his district on November 30th, Stamper has been critical of the firm. That criticism was amplified after another firm employee was spotted with a cooler that had stickers representing the Confederate flag and Ku Klux Klan, and further escalated when the firm’s owner Dennis Biondich failed to appear before a city committee.

American Sewer reports that the employee brandishing a firearm and the other owning the cooler were both terminated. The firm reports they have approximately 40 employees, 20 of which are city residents.

“My concern is how much respect do you have for the city of Milwaukee and the business that you do,” Stamper said at a December 18th hearing regarding the matter. Stamper, referencing a Department of Public Works report, said the company has been awarded approximately $50 million in city contracts since the start of 2013.

Russell W. Stamper, II

Russell W. Stamper, II

Following the council’s adoption of a measure that would prevent city contractors from carrying weapons, Stamper said “Yes, I support a termination of his contract, and I wish I could do it immediately, but I can’t. We have to do with evaluation and judgement. But I can tell you community, get ready, because there are going to be some contracting opportunities out there.”

The termination of American Sewer Services faces a number of hurdles, not the least of which is that Stamper’s resolution incorrectly refers to the company as “American Sewer Systems, Inc.”

The resolution is assigned to the council’s Public Works Committee. The committee is next scheduled to meet on January 4th.

Biondich has yet to appear before the council to respond to the issues surrounding his firm. Council President Ashanti Hamilton and Department of Public Works Commissioner Ghassan Korban both have said they have met with Biondich, but he didn’t appear, citing health issues, at a December 18th hearing scheduled specially for his firm.

Stamper, Hamilton and other African American council members have received racist messages following discussion of the photos.

If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.

More about the Contractor Gun Debate

One thought on “Eyes on Milwaukee: Stamper Introduces Bill to Fire American Sewer Services”

  1. Troll says:

    http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2017/07/27/african-american-women-are-increasingly-buying-guns-statistics-show/

    Would it make a difference if three African American men were working a Milwaukee site carrying legally permitted guns. Should small business owners, in this case Dennis Biondich, have to inspect all workers property before they work a city work site. Biondich fired the most offensive employees yet, he is responsible for what is placed on a lunch box ? The city has to come to grips with the fact that certain parts of the city are not safe and they should be arming their own employees.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us