In a 4-3 split, the Syracuse Common Council rejected a waiver item to allow the parks department to buy bulk food and paper products from Walmart. Councilor-at-Large Michael Greene said Walmart is not the ideal corporate citizen, in terms of how much employees receive in wages and benefits.
"We thought this was a good opportunity to talk about our values and say we should be purchasing products and using the city’s buying power to purchase products from a more responsible vender,” Greene said. "From a philosophical level, the city needs to be cognizant of how we’re spending taxpayer dollars and be able to spend it in ways that will have a positive impact on the community."
Greene said there are many other venders who sell the same food and paper products at a comparable price. He said he would have no problem with using a company like Wegmans, which he said consistently ranks as one of the best places to work.
The measure allocates $12,000 for the parks department to spend on items for its senior citizen and youth community centers. Greene said there is still plenty of time to draft new legislation before it would take effect on July 1.