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.
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.
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.
- City Hall: Complaint Against American Sewer Dropped - Jeramey Jannene - Jun 6th, 2019
- City Hall: Contractor With Guns, White Supremacy Sticker Again At Issue - Jeramey Jannene - May 16th, 2019
- Eyes on Milwaukee: City Releases Contractor Gun Photo - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 5th, 2018
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Another Contractor Caught With Gun - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 30th, 2018
- Eyes on Milwaukee: City Settles with American Sewer - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 17th, 2018
- Eyes on Milwaukee: City Kills Contracts With American Sewer - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 4th, 2018
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Stamper Introduces Bill to Fire American Sewer Services - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 24th, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Ban On Contractors With Guns Passed - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 19th, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Embattled Company Leader Absent at Hearing - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 18th, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Labor Groups Rally Against KKK Supporter - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 12th, 2017
Read more about Contractor Gun Debate here