Tag Archives: Ohio

Akron hiring outside company to paint hydrants

Source: Stephanie Warsmith, Beacon Journal, July 1, 2014

Akron for the first time plans to hire an outside contractor to paint fire hydrants. Councilman Russell Neal Jr. pushed for an alternative that would have involved using city workers and training residents to do the work, which he estimated would cut the cost in half and save the city about $80,000. … Neal proposed using city employees represented by the American Federation of County, State and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) to supervise groups of four residents who would be trained to paint the hydrants. He estimated the cost of this to be about $80,000 or $40 per hydrant. “We can do this cheaper,” he said. ….

Mansfield City Schools, union to discuss custodian efficiency

Source: Chike Erokwu, Mansfield News Journal, June 27, 2014

In lieu of privatizing custodian services, the Mansfield City Schools Financial Planning and Supervision Commission recommended the district find ways to make current custodian services more efficient. … The Financial Planning and Supervision Commission previously considered privatizing custodian services, but decided against it after savings estimates were found to be lower than previously expected, Marshall said. “Initially, we thought we could save close to $1 million by privatizing custodians,” Marshall said. “The last number we received was $300,000. For a million, we’re willing to take that risk, but for that amount of money, we’re not willing to take the risk.”…

Partnership Financing: Improving Transportation Infrastructure Through Public Private Partnerships

Source: Mary Jane Breinholt, Eno Center for Transportation, 2014

Eno created its Public Private Partnership (P3) working group in 2012 to provide a better understanding of limited availability and the use of P3s as a potential project delivery method. Led by former U.S. Secretaries of Transportation Mary Peters and Norman Mineta, Eno’s P3 working group brought together industry leaders and experts to identify barriers to the increased use of P3s and to outline approaches for overcoming these barriers.

In Partnership Financing: Improving Transportation Infrastructure Through Public Private Partnerships, the group studied both successful and unsuccessful P3 projects nationwide in an effort to identify lessons learned for policymakers, legislators, and officials interested in using P3s to deliver transportation infrastructure projects. The working group identified patterns in the challenges that localities have faced when using P3s and developed recommendations for federal and local policy to enable greater use of P3s as an infrastructure delivery mechanism in the future.

…Appendix 1: Existing and Currently Proposed DBFOM Projects….

…Appendix 3: Summary of Case Studies
The following is a summary of the six case studies that were used to develop the policy recommendations for this research paper. The case studies are not meant to be exhaustive analyses of projects nor do the six used provide complete examples of lessons for the entire country. However the cases underscore specific lessons learned and offer valuable insights as to how each project was able to overcome specific barriers, or how projects failed to surmount obstacles. The main body of the text of this report highlights the lessons learned, while this appendix provides more detail to the interested reader. The following cases are included:
Case 1: The Port of Miami Tunnel and the I-595 Express Lanes
Case 2: Denver Eagle Transit P3
Case 3: The Commonwealth of Virginia (multiple projects)
Case 4: California – SR-91 and SR125
Case 5: Trans-Texas Corridor
Case 6: The Ohio River Bridge….

Related:
Report: Keys to Successful Public-Private Partnerships
Source: Daniel C. Vock, Governing, May 28, 2014

Flexibility, public engagement and predictability help attract outside money for infrastructure, experts say….

Medina County officials feud with operator of county recycling facility

Source: Donna J. Miller, Plain Dealer, May 14, 2014

County officials, immersed in gathering data to prepare bid specifications for future operation of the county recycling facility, have reached a bottleneck with the current operator, Envision Waste Services. “We have a breach of contract and dysfunctional working relationship,” Commissioner Stephen Hambley said. Envision has refused to give Medina County Sanitary Engineer Amy Lyon-Galvin the equipment- and operating-cost records she and a consultant need to write the specifications for bidders interested in taking over operations at the 21-year-old facility, near Interstate 71 and U.S. 224 in Westfield Township. The county plans to be one of those bidders. According to the 5-year contract Envision renewed in January 2010, the company must keep copious records and provide monthly reports to the county. But Envision CEO Steve Viny told Lyon-Galvin in a letter dated April 30 that her request for operating and maintenance costs, staffing levels and equipment repairs “is problematic. We ran this past our legal counsel and they advise us that, while the contract requires us to maintain these records, there is no express requirement that they be copied and turned over to the county.” …. The records “contain proprietary and trade secret information, and given the fact that the county has announced it is utilizing this information for bidding purposes, the timing of this request is questionable,” he wrote to the county…..

Forest Park cleans up with janitorial contract

Source: Jennie Key, communitypress.com, April 24, 2014

The city’s janitorial contract has remained constant since 2007, with no increases in cost or decreases in services. Council extended its janitorial contract with GSF Janitorial Services Monday with no increase this year. Or last year. In fact, the city’s paying the same rate this year that it paid when it started doing business with GSF in 2007….Hodges said while some quotes seemed lower, closer analysis showed they also provided less service. For example, bidder Jani-King’s quote included a reduction in service and didn’t include standard items the city was currently receiving such as daily emptying of the mixed paper recycling containers, spot cleaning of the carpet, the twice annual carpet cleaning, machine scrubbing, stripping, waxing and sealing of the tile floors, and spray buffing of the tile floors as needed….

What We Know – And Still Need to Learn – About the Impact of Vouchers on Students and Schools

Source: Joshua Cowen, Scholars Strategy Network, SSN Basic Facts, April 2014

After two decades of trial-runs, school voucher programs occupy a growing place across the U.S. educational landscape. In Arizona, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin, public funding supports private school attendance by students with varied needs and limited family resources. At least ten states offset private tuition with refunds or credits offered through their tax codes. As such programs proliferate, it is important to take stock of what researchers have found so far about the impact of vouchers on student achievement and school performance….

Union stands behind drivers as Princeton outsources bus service

Source: Kelly McBride, communitypress.com, April 9, 2014

The union that represents school bus drivers is refocusing after Princeton City Schools decided to outsource its bus service to First Student. After the district posted the announcement, along with a letter to parents, on its website, the union issued a statement of support for the drivers. “Due to the Board of Education’s decision to outsource the bus drivers, the Ohio Association Of Public School Employees will continue to represent these folks,” Derryl Hall, of the Ohio Association of Public School Employees, said in a statement. … “We will also attempt to work with the Board of Education to provide for a transition to the new employer First Student,” Hall said. “However, due to the uncertainty of whether 100 percent of the employees will be hired by First Student, and the fact that Princeton will cancel their medical insurance in June, that will make these discussions strenuous.” Local 174 is the union for the 66 Princeton employees affected by the change, though the contract with First Students hasn’t yet been finalized…

City leaders say ‘No’ to privatizing Toledo Express

Source: Joe Thompson, northwestohio.com, April 3, 2014

A Toledo based investment group has a plan to take over control of the city owned Toledo Express Airport and Toledo Executive Airport. Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins said in a news conference on Wednesday the plan has little chance of succeeding. …. The issue arose after Treece Investment Corporation publicly announced they were interested in taking over management of the airports, which are currently operated by the Toledo/Lucas County Port Authority…..However, city leaders are strongly against the proposal to privatize, fearing the consequences if they did allow it. The Federal Aviation Administration has warned the city that it will cut off federal funding for the airports if they go private. That would include about $6 million slated to help pay for upgrades to the airports’ taxiways, with construction set for later this year. The Defense Department has also told the city that if Toledo Express goes private, it may remove the National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing. President of the Port Authority Paul Toth said the Fighter Wing brings $100 million a year in economic benefits to Toledo, and losing it would be devastating…..

Ohio’s urban districts cut services to provide busing to privately run charter schools (Part 3 of 3)

Source: Doug Livingston, Beacon Journal, March 31, 2014

About this charter school series Ohio’s public school buses are traveling farther each year to pick up fewer kids, and it’s costing taxpayers more money. It’s an unintended consequence of school choice. State officials have forced traditional public schools to crisscross their cities to pick up and deliver children to privately run charter schools, often while cutting transportation to their own kids. The cost for the door-to-door service is significant: About 44 percent more per child, according to an analysis of statewide data.
Related:
More than 100 publicly funded charter schools fail to disclose who is in charge (part 1 of 3)
Source: John C. Veauthier and Karen S. Bell, heNewsOutlet.org, March 29, 2014

…That was not out of the ordinary in calls to nearly 300 Ohio charter schools — funded with state and local tax dollars and, by law, subject to the same transparency rules as traditional schools.

The calls were made as part of a school-choice project by the Akron Beacon Journal and the News­Outlet, a consortium of journalism programs at Youngstown State University, the University of Akron and Cuyahoga Community College.

In a phone-call blitz that began in early January, students in the journalism lab called 294 of Ohio’s 393 charter schools in operation at the time, seeking basic information:
• Who runs the building?
• Who is that person’s supervisor?
• Who is the management company in charge?
• How does one contact the school board?
• When does the board meet?

Public accountability was difficult. Of the 294 called, the results by March 26 were:
• 114 — more than a third — did not return messages seeking information.
• Eight refused to answer.
• Seven said they would call back but did not.
• 73 provided some of the information.
• 80, or about 1 in 4, provided the information requested…

IRS sets rules on how charter schools qualify for tax-exempt status
Source: Ohio.com, March 30, 2014

Board members at White Hat charter schools say they have little control over public funds (part 2 of 3)
Source: Doug Livingston, Beacon Journal, March 30, 2014

How Cincinnati Beat the Tea Party

Source: Amy B. Dean, Al Jazeera America, March 27, 2014

The refrain of privatization seems to play over and over. Our cities are going broke and can’t afford to make retirement payments; public health nurses, city park employees, and other workers who provide important services will not get what they worked hard for all their lives; and the only way out is to put pensions into the hands of privately held corporations. Or at least, that’s what the tea party and other political interests would have us believe. Fortunately, there is a recent example of a city where people have fought back against this prevailing narrative and won: Cincinnati. Although public employee pensions may seem an unlikely proving ground for new alliances between local unions and business leaders, the people of Cincinnati showed that unity was possible when, last November, 78 percent of voters rejected a tea-party-backed ballot measure that would have drastically altered the retirement prospects for city workers. Cincinnati’s resounding defeat of an organized effort to privatize public employee pensions is surprising because of the broad spectrum of people who opposed it. As a supporter of organized labor and an opponent of pension privatization, I was struck by the way in which unions and their community allies were able to mobilize major business executives, faith groups, seniors’ rights organizations and even the local chamber of commerce around a single outcome: safeguarding stable retirement for the people who have worked for it. …
Related:
Few Local Contributions to Issue 4 Campaign / Financial disclosures show mostly out-of-town contributions to pension privatization effort
Source: German Lopez, CityBeat, October 24, 2013

Issue 4, the ballot initiative that would semi-privatize Cincinnati’s pension system, obtained most of its financial support from out-of-town tea party groups, according to financial disclosure forms filed to the Hamilton County Board of Elections on Oct. 24. The report confirms concerns previously raised by city officials, unions and mayoral and City Council candidates: The pension privatization effort is coming from outside Cincinnati and, in some instances, Ohio. Up to Oct. 16, Cincinnati for Pension Reform, which successfully placed Issue 4 on the ballot, received more than $231,000 from campaign contributors. Of that money, $209,500 came from groups in West Chester, Ohio — organizations called Jobs and Progress Fund, A Public Voice, Ohio 2.0 and Ohio Rising — and $20,000 came from the Virginia-based Liberty Initiative Fund, which CityBeat previously reported as an early supporter of pension privatization schemes around the country. …