..The move would eliminate city jobs for 58 drivers of the blue and red buses at the airport. It would also displace eight management employees, along with 18 vacant positions. Standard Parking said it will try to hire as many of those people as possible, although nothing is guaranteed….Privatization of bus operations is common at most airports, and KCI is one of a handful of airports that still operates buses with city employees….
Local janitorial service company Brokate Janitorial LLC was awarded the City of Springfield’s largest contract for janitorial services beating out numerous national and local companies. This contract includes regular cleaning services for many of the city’s major buildings including City Hall, Police Headquarters, Southside Police Station, Busch Building, Municipal Court and numerous other city facilities.
From the press release:
A new research report released today outlines problems with the growing trend among cities to outsource traffic enforcement to red-light and speed camera vendors….The report, titled “Caution: Red Light Cameras Ahead; The Risks of Privatizing Traffic Law Enforcement and How to Protect the Public” finds that approximately half of states have enabled the use of automated traffic law enforcement. Municipalities in these states contract with private companies to provide cameras and issue citations to traffic violators. Citizens have often objected to privatized forms of traffic enforcement and many municipalities have found themselves in legal trouble when they attempt to change or update these contracts. Traffic engineering alternatives, such as lengthening yellow lights, are often the best way to reduce injuries from red-light running. However, those solutions too often get ignored because contractors and sometimes municipalities are more focused on increasing revenue from tickets….
Source: Ryan Dean, KSDK, April 26, 2012
From 2009-2011, hundreds of buses have been yanked off the road in the St. Louis metropolitan area because they simply were not safe enough, according to the Missouri Highway Patrol. Three-hundred and forty buses, had mechanical issues which the Highway Patrol said created an immediate danger to students riding on them….According to districts’ websites and conversations with administrators, the six districts that had the most buses out of service during the three years KSDK checked, all contracted at least a portion of its bus services with First Student, a national company. …
…More than a dozen districts in Missouri with at least 10 buses in its fleet, did manage to pass all inspections from 2009-2011 without a single bus pulled out of service…All but two of the schools, don’t contract out its bus services. Instead, the schools operate its own fleet. …
– Spot Inspections 2009 2011
– 2009 2011 Annual Inspection Troop I
– 2011 Annual Inspection
– 2010 Annual Inspection
– 2009 Annual Inspection
– VICC Statement
– First Student Statement
– SLPS Statements
– Out of Service Criteria
– Francis Howell Statement
As local tax bases shrink, a handful of states are leading the way in puhing the consolidation envelope….Many of our largest cities, including Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and St. Louis, were defined — or redefined — by consolidation. The first occurred in 1805 when the City of New Orleans merged with Orleans Parish; in 1898, New York City absorbed what was then one of the nation’s 15 largest cities: Brooklyn.
Since New Orleans, less than 40 city-county consolidations have been implemented, according to the National Association of Counties. But more than one-quarter of those have occurred since 1990….The states leading the reforming trend are New York and New Jersey, although there have also been efforts in Indiana and Michigan and stirrings elsewhere….
Missouri calls it quits on Imagine charter schools in St. Louis
Source: Elisa Crouch, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 18, 2012
The Missouri Board of Education put underperforming charter schools statewide on notice Tuesday by voting to close all Imagine charter schools in St. Louis…. The move follows months of increasing scrutiny of the schools’ financial, leadership and academic problems. The schools are operated by Virginia-based Imagine Schools Inc., a for-profit charter school management company. Students enrolled at the schools make up about one-third of the city’s charter school population. State test results from 2011 showed that nearly all students at the city’s Imagine schools were performing below grade level in reading and math, prompting St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Nicastro to call for the closure of the schools.
In December, their sponsor, Missouri Baptist University, announced it would close two of them — Imagine Academy of Academic Success and Imagine Academy of Cultural Arts — this spring, and place the other four on probation. On Monday, Missouri Baptist University relinquished its sponsorship of the six charter schools, handing all regulatory authority over to the state. And one day later, the Board of Education voted to close them….
…The expected closures would mean that Imagine Schools, the largest charter school management company in the nation, will no longer have any charter schools in Missouri. Last summer, the governing board at Imagine Renaissance Academy in Kansas City severed its ties with Imagine and will close the school this year….
After months of stalemate, the Board of Aldermen finally voted Thursday night to dissolve the city’s embattled police department….St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch said his officers would officially take over policing at midnight, when Dellwood’s four remaining officers would end their shifts — and their employment with the city….The board also voted to sell most of its police equipment to St. Louis County police.
Kansas City Public Schools said Tuesday that it would take control of the Afrikan Centered Education Collegium Campus at the end of the school year, ending a long, up-and-down relationship with the program’s leaders…. The district said it would not renew its contract with Afrikan Centered Education Task Force Inc. because the arrangement has become “financially, operationally and practically unfeasible.” Instead, the district will run the program under a new name: African-Centered College Preparatory Academy….
– First Student Inc. will pay $5 million to the family of a northwest Missouri teenager who died after being hit by a school bus. Mason Adams was 16 when he died after getting hit by a First Student bus while he was on his way to school on Nov. 15, 2010. A Buchanan County judge approved the settlement between Bridget Blasi, Adams’ mother, and the company.
Northwest Missouri State University has violated laws requiring competitive bids on contracts and perhaps made improper post-resignation payments to a former president, according to the Missouri auditor’s office. “NWMSU extended and amended its food services, facilities management, vending and bookstore contracts in exchange for approximately $1.5 million in donations or other payments to fund a stadium renovation,” said a report released Tuesday by state Auditor Thomas A. Schweich’s office.