Norton Council plans formal apology for cleaning contractor

Posted in the Clinton Forum

Jill

Barberton, OH

#1 Mar 19, 2013
From the Post:

NORTON – City council will draft a resolution of apology for Romaster Inc., the members decided at the March 18 Committee of the Whole work session.

The city administration, citing poor performance by the city’s Norton-based cleaning contractor, had sought council’s permission to replace them with Barberton-based Four Corners Cleaning Inc. At the March 4 work session, city administrator Rick Ryland said multiple conversations asking for improvement had born no fruit. At the March 11 council meeting, Romaster head Mitch Roman said the last conversation with city officials was in 2011 to discuss the contract and that allegations of poor performance, first encountered in the newspaper, had come “as a surprise.”

Council opted to revisit the ordinance changing companies in committee after it heard its first reading March 11.

“Like I said before, I just want it to go away,” Councilwoman Charlotte Whipkey said.

Whipkey said her conversations with Ryland during a tour council took to see the lack of cleanliness at city facilities revealed Roman’s recollections were correct.

“Mr. Ryland said the the only conversation he had (with Romaster) was in March of 2011,” Whipkey said.“And that was about the contract.”

“Then all the statements made in the paper were false?” Councilman Bill Mowery asked.

“They were all fake,” Roman responded.

After the May 4 meeting, Ryland, in an angry exchange with council Vice President Todd Bergstrom about the issue, grabbed a chair from the side of the council chamber. It was covered in dust with doodles drawn in it.

“The man sitting next to this chair doodled on it two weeks ago,” Ryland said.“I watched him. Two weeks!”

Council generally agreed changes needed made in the quality of the work.

“Dust collects,” Whipkey said.“I will never go and condemn someone who was not given a chance to rectify a situation.”

“Some things are not right,” council President Don Nicolard said.“I have employees. Sometimes employees don’t get things right.”

The audience sided with Romaster, punctuating with applause statements made by residents Jason Sams and Elaine Tompkins that the company had been shabbily treated.

Council elected to hold a vote at the March 25 council meeting to permanently table the switch in companies, ask the administration to draft set expectations for the company and pass a resolution of apology to Romaster.

An ordinance redistributing appropriated salaries from vacant positions to nonbargaining employees was sent back for further review.

A measure that would sell off unneeded city property was sent off to the council floor for readings.

Council and several residents discussed the memorandum of understanding with the county on purchasing the county’s sewer lines in the city. Whipkey and resident Tom Kornas were concerned it obligated the city to buy the lines.

“This memorandum of understanding is not a purchase agreement,” Nicolard said.

“This is designed to allow us to get in and have a look at Summit County’s books,” Councilman John Conklin added.

Both said the memorandum was so city officials could review for themselves what sort of condition the lines and package plants were in in advance of any purchase.

Resident Tom Gainer, who chaired the ad hoc Telecommunications Committee, returned with objections to the city opting for exclusive Webcasting of meetings, rather than going with Time-Warner Cable.

“The video is of poor quality,” Gainer said.“You can’t see the faces. And the audio is very poor.”

Council meets in regular session March 25 at 7 p.m. in the council chamber.
Liar liar pants on fire

Barberton, OH

#2 Mar 30, 2013
Liar liar, pants on fire!

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