The Atlanta City Council sustained controversial vetoes Feb. 7 involving contracts with vendors to pick up the city’s trash. It was Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s first significant use of his veto powers and he managed to get council to back him on it.

Standing before City Council, Reed said he vetoed the three resolutions, which would have paid $9.4 million to several solid waste vendors because they did not go through proper channels for approval by his senior staff.

While Reed said nothing seemed illegal about the process, the worker who presented the bills was suspended. “This is the strongest tool that we can use to let people know that this behavior is unacceptable,” Reed told the council.

The vetoes were upheld by a 10-2 vote.

As part of his procedures, Reed requires that all major spending go through his office—specifically to be approved by Chief Operating Officer Peter Aman and chief of staff Candace Byrd.