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Public Corruption in Chester County, PA

I believe an unlikely mix of alleged drug trafficking related politicos and alleged white nationalist related politicos united to elect the infamous “Bloc of Four” in the abysmal voter turnout election of 2005. During their four year term the drug business was good again and white nationalists used Coatesville as an example on white supremacist websites like “Stormfront”. Strong community organization and support from law enforcement, in particular Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has begun to turn our community around. The Chester County drug trafficking that I believe centers on Coatesville continues and I believe we still have public officials in place that profit from the drug sales. But the people here are amazing and continue to work against the odds to make Coatesville a good place to live.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Should the Coatesville School District hire ServiceMaster again?

Why was the Coatesville Area School District’s contract with ServiceMaster not renewed in 1996?

  • Was equipment missing when ServiceMaster left?
  • Were the floors not clean?
  • Did they use substandard supplies?

Should the Coatesville School District make the previous contract with ServiceMaster available to the public?

Did the Coatesville Administration vet ServiceMaster?

“The district is looking to outsource its custodial and groundskeeping services to Tennessee-based company, ServiceMaster. The proposed agreement with ServiceMaster would allow about 60 custodians and six groundskeepers to maintain their jobs in the district, at market wages, and to receive benefits including a 401K package, according to the district. 
  Negotiations remain ongoing between the district and the Federation Union, which represents the custodial and groundskeeping staff, about the terms of the outsourcing plan. The Federation Union’s contract with the district expires on June 30. 
  During the public comment section of the meeting, Sharon Ross questioned the validity of the savings that are expected to come from the district outsourcing its custodians. ‘I know you’re hoping that the custodial contract is not renewed, and that there will be outsourcing,’ she said to the board. ‘The question is: what is it going to cost to have ServiceMaster come in? What happens in following years when they increase their charges?”
Coatesville School Board passes budget with 2.4 percent taxhike 
By Lucas Rodgers, lrodgers@dailylocal.com  
POSTED: 05/13/15, 6:56 PM EDT | UPDATED: ON 05/13/2015

ServiceMaster is a franchisor, who is the ServiceMaster franchise?

ServiceMaster Franchise Cost & Fees
Date of Incorporation: 1947
Franchising Since: 1948
Headquarters: Memphis, Tennessee
Business Description: ServiceMaster and its predecessors have been performing professional cleaning services since 1929 when Marion E. Wade began the business as a sole proprietor.
Franchise Offer: ServiceMaster Clean currently offers the following franchises:
1.    Disaster Restoration Services: provides disaster restorative services direct to customers and through insurance adjusters to customers following a fire, flood, earthquake or storm.
2.    Floor Care Services: provides carpet, hard surface floor care, wall and other heavy cleaning in homes, apartments, and condominiums and other periodic non-janitorial cleaning and maintenance to management or tenants of any commercial or institutional building.
3.    Janitorial Services: provides contracted janitorial services on a continuing basis and may also provide carpet, furniture and other periodical non-janitorial cleaning and maintenance to management or tenants of commercial or institutional buildings.
4.    Small Market Services: provides contracted janitorial services as well as carpet and furniture cleaning and disaster restoration services.
5.    Recovery Management Services: provides recovery management and disaster services directly to commercial customers who have the capacity to provide commercial restoration opportunities of $500,000 or greater in contract value and who are not existing Disaster Restoration Services Customers.


“Several years ago the Bethel Park School District in Pennsylvania voted to contract with ServiceMaster, a $1.5 billion multinational corporation, to provide custodial and maintenance services to city schools. The School Board took this step because it believed it would save money. Within days, 25% of the district's unionized janitors got pink slips from the city, only to receive job offers from ServiceMaster to do the same work at half the wages. Service- Master cut other costs as well, including preventive maintenance on expensive city equipment.

By the time the ServiceMaster contract was up for renewal, Bethel Park had discovered the real costs of contracting out: dirty schools, destroyed equipment, and low morale among poorly-paid workers. The school district dropped the contract, having learned the hard way that contracting with a profit-making corporation raises costs while weakening public control over service delivery.”


More on AB469: Questions about quality, savings and monopolies 
APRIL 12, 2011 
In my post, AB469: Forced Privatization of School Services and Free Rent for New Businesses?,  I linked to a fact sheet (pdf) regarding privatization of services within public schools and why it’s not a good idea. ServiceMaster is referenced over and over again, noting the problems the schools had with that particular company: 
  • Lee County, FL: The Lee County, FL Superintendent noted that the district had previously contracted custodial services out to ServiceMaster. The Superintendent indicated that the school district ended up losing money on the deal and bought out the contract to bring the cleaning services back into the district’s control.1
  • New Orleans, LA: New Orleans had to fire their contractor for escalating costs, uncut grass, filthy bathrooms, and dead animals in the classrooms. The school district estimated they would save about $2 million/year by bringing the work back in-house. The contractor, AME, was expected to be an improvement on the previous contractors, Nolmar and ServiceMaster, which also were plagued with very serious quality problems. 2
  •  Duval County, FL: ServiceMaster was brought on board in 1996 to get the schools cleaner, but complaints of unclean floors, unvacuumed carpets, trash not picked up, and chalkboards left dirty became an issue. Note that given the quality concerns, district officials planned to conduct monthly and weekly evaluations of schools (i.e. additional public funds spent). At one point, a large number of principals said custodial services were “as bad — if not worse — than ever.”A ServiceMaster official defended the dirty schools by stating they were only 7 months into their contract. In Duval Co, the employees remained employees of the county, but ServiceMaster was the manager and reduced the number of custodial positions by 51.
  • Washington, DC: In Washington DC, ServiceMaster (Register’s preferred contractor in Chattanooga and NC) first got a $105,000 study contract which it then expanded into a $14 million contract. In three years,they never had to compete in a bid process.ServiceMaster also became, according to the WP “one of the most powerful forces within DC public schools, supervising 1000 custodians and tradesmen and helping to decide who gets hired and who keeps his job.” ServiceMaster’s ever-growing contract “forced the schools to cut money for books, overtime, and special programs for children.” Control board analysts and the school CFO said the deal did not save the system money. Another concern: ServiceMaster purchases $ 8 million in supplies a year with virtually no oversight, and 30% to 40% of the goods come from its own subsidiaries, according to ServiceMaster. School personnel told the Post that there were delays in getting basic supplies and an overdependence on subcontractors for basic repairs.4
  • Assumption Parish, LA: In Assumption Parish, Louisiana, elementary school officials needed to treat a difficult flea problem in the school. Twenty-one months later, the school system spent $ 1 million to clean the schools of the remnants of the pesticide, is fighting a class-action lawsuit filed by parents of some of the schoolchildren, has filed suit to have its insurance company and other companies pay for the cleanup, and was sanctioned by the state Department of Agriculture and Forestry. This all happened when kids came home sick and disoriented after being in classrooms that had been sprayed with a pesticide only four hours earlier. ServiceMaster had the custodial contract in the school and supervised the spraying. The chemical used was not registered for sale in the state, was applied by a custodian untrained in pesticides, and was improperly applied inside the school and on the grounds. ServiceMaster was fined.5
  • Virginia Beach, VA: Cancelled their Servicemaster contract. The superintendent said ServiceMaster did not fulfill the district’s key goals: freeing principals to focus attention on instruction and reaping appreciable savings.6
  • Manchester, NH: a contract janitor hired by contractor WFF&A pleaded guilty in 1983 to second-degree murder. On parole, he was hired by the contractor to work as a janitor at Parkside Junior High School. The city’s custodians were replaced the previous summer with private contractors. The invitation to bid on the custodial work required that “Prior to placing an individual in City facilities all prospective cleaning personnel must receive clearance from the Manchester Police Department.” However, Police didn’t know whether all local background checks had been completed.7
  • Manchester, NH: A city health inspector found city dirty bathrooms at Memorial High School. Ad administration official said, “Memorial is dirty. It doesn’t seem there’s a problem that can’t be rectified with a good mopping and regular cleaning, but the floors are dirty, some of the bathrooms were in need of disinfecting and cleaning and I don’t know how long it will take them to catch up.” The work was supposed to be done by ServiceMaster. 8
  • Palm Beach, FL: Palm Beach dumped their contract with ServiceMaster at a cost of about $ 1.8 million. “Board members believe the company had promised to save $ 3.8 million this year in personnel costs, plus $ 1.9 million on material and supplies. And they aren’t happy with reports from principals of dirty cafeteria floors and classrooms. When they campaigned for the job, ServiceMaster officials created unrealistic expectations for their company…rincipals expected dramatically cleaner schools, and they didn’t get them.Their contract requires them to pay ServiceMaster for the equipment that the Illinois-based company brought to Palm Beach County, if the board wants to keep it, and the cost will be $ 1.2 million. Also, they will have to pay for ServiceMaster’s software, called MAXIMO, that handles work orders. It will cost $ 145,000.” 9
MORE AT:https://bluelyon.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/more-on-ab469-questions-about-quality-savings-and-monopolies/

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