October 2, 2013

Is Mayor Ward going to take a job with Covanta?

For months, I've been hearing that Mayor Art Ward plans to take a part-time job with Covanta Energy after he leaves City Hall. Whenever I've asked him about his plans, he's just shrugged it all off, mentioning only that he's not ready to retire completely and not too keen on working all the time anymore. There are just too many sporting events with grandchildren involved to work so much.
But now that the mayor has worked out a proposed deal with Covanta over a recycling transfer station that other officials are questioning (see today's story here), the relevance of the longtime rumor has obviously grown.
So yesterday I quizzed the mayor again. He told me he hasn't accepted a job with anyone yet. He wouldn't tell me where he might go to work. He also wouldn't say whether Covanta had offered him a position.
So the long and short of it is, I have no idea if there is any truth to the talk. I'm pretty sure the mayor's going to go to work for someone, somewhere. But is it Covanta? I can't say.
I would add, though, that if there's been any discussion of that possibility, it does seem like he has an obligation to tell the public that he may have a conflict of interest in pursuing both a municipal deal with the company and a job with it that could start as soon as next month.
Ward really ought to stop playing coy and tell the public whatever there is to say.

Copyright 2013 All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

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