Doing a Lobbyist’s Bidding: Plantation Signs New No Bid Deal






In Plantation, you might think Mayor Diane Veltri Bendekovic runs City Hall.

And you would be wrong.

If you attended the commission meeting this week, it would appear that the real power behind the throne is lobbyist Bill Laystrom.

Laystrom, who lives in Plantation, has long been the city’s house lobbyist.  He has largely taken over from his law partner, Emerson Allsworth, who was the previous go-to lobbyist in Plantation.


williamLaystrom1_thumb1Bill Laystrom 


Laystrom represents many significant firms doing business with Plantation. He is a constant presence in Plantation City Hall.

And usually, Laystrom gets what he wants.

It happened again this week when Laystrom prodded City Commissioners into granting another year’s extension on the garbage contract for Waste Management.

Commissioners also delayed for two months a promise that they would begin taking bids for a garbage contract to begin in October, 2016, after the new Waste Management contract extension expires. The delay was approved despite support from Mayor Bendekovic and the staff for the bidding process to be started.

Waste Management has had the exclusive contract in Plantation for over three decades. The contract hasn’t been bid for many, many, many years.

Commissioners once again didn’t bother to take a bid before handing Waste Management another year to exclusively pick up waste.

In return for the no-bid contract extension, Waste Management gave residents and the city $1.1 million in savings over what is being paid now.

The blue bags – Yes, Plantation still uses plastic bags, that environmentally unfriendly, unhealthy throw back to the past. Unhealthy because the bags attract ducks and other varmint. – prices will be reduced to $1.36 from $1.69. Waste Management also will introduce a new half-size bag for $1.

By cutting its price, Waste Management proved it had been overcharging Plantation for years.

What has changed to justify a cut in rates except the threat by commissioners that they might take bids before signing a future contract? For roughly a year, commissioners have been considering finally, after decades, taking bids on the garbage contract.

commissioners put off consideration of the bidding until this week.

With Laystrom orchestrating in the background, commissioners seem willing to do what Waste Management really wants: Cancel any future plans for bidding the contract and hand the firm a no-bid contract for years beyond 2016.

Laystrom even dangled this promise at the meeting this week: Waste Management might cut the fees further if the commissioners consider canceling any consideration of bids in the future.

It would be incredibly bad business for commissioners to bite at Laystrom’s bait.

No matter what prices Waste Management offers, competitors may be able to offer lower costs and better service. Commissioners will never know that unless they take bids.

Commissioners need to grow a backbone. They need to show the public that Bill Laystrom is not Plantation’s sixth commissioner.

Commissioners need to take bids on waste-hauling as soon as possible.



7 Responses to “Doing a Lobbyist’s Bidding: Plantation Signs New No Bid Deal”

  1. Nan says:

    I agree something needs to change. Plantation Acres has the special garbage’s and recycle bins why cant the rest of the city

  2. Sean Phillippi says:

    You live in Plantation Buddy. If you are so disgusted by things that are going on in your home city why don’t/haven’t you run for city council?

  3. Deb says:

    I agree that we need to get rid of the blue bags since Waste Management cant manage to collect garbage most till close to 5 PM and even later. No one wants to see garbage rip open by ducks as is the case often. I have a neighbor whose garbage is all over because it was not picked up.

  4. Yeahbuddy says:

    Run buddy and hire sean. with your knowledge of campaigns, you can help Sean to stop losing races and get his first win.

    Sean I hear little nickys bachelor party is coming up, beware of mixing cigars and booze (wink) .

  5. William Bzdek says:

    Common Buddy , you can do better than that . According to Tom Armstrong previous comments all is well in the City of Plantation ! Emerson . Allsworth ( Google him ) Laystrom have been the guys for years . How the hell did Allsworth become the man in Plantation ? Ask Tom . While your at it ask Lunny ?

  6. PMZZZ says:

    Now you are getting to the real problem. Lunny.
    Now you are talking. He is the City Attorney. How can he continue to allow the commissison to violate the law.How does he justify allowing the commission to act this way- read the state law- read every other city code in Broward county.
    You are out of touch. Get rid of Lunny and it will fix itself.

  7. Becky Blackwood says:

    Could the 1.1 million dollars in savings be those written about in the paper resulting from recycling profits being returned to the City. How does the City get away with not bidding out their services – are monopolies allowed by State law?