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NEWS
By Marego Athans and Marego Athans,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Larry Carson contributed to this article | June 12, 1996
The Baltimore County school system's facilities department, criticized in an internal audit that detailed illegal and improper fTC bidding practices, will undergo a second review -- this time by county government.The County Council is expected to begin an audit next week examining the effectiveness of the $40 million-a-year department, its procurement and bidding practices and the feasibility of switching control of the department to county government. The council is scheduled to vote on the measure Monday.
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NEWS
By Laura Loh and Laura Loh,SUN STAFF | March 23, 2005
Cementing an agreement reached a week ago, the Baltimore school board approved a contract last night that gives the city control over the maintenance of city schools. Under the contract, the city will provide custodial services, perform day-to-day and long-term maintenance, and conduct hazard abatement through August - providing $3 million in extra funding, employees and other resources to the school system. Although city officials will manage school facilities staff and assign city employees to work in schools, the city technically is serving as a contractor to the school system.
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NEWS
By Marego Athans and Marego Athans,SUN STAFF | May 30, 1996
Baltimore County's elected leaders said yesterday that they were disturbed to learn of allegations of widespread misuse of public funds in the school system's facilities department, the target of a highly critical audit."
NEWS
By Tanika White and Tanika White,SUN STAFF | March 18, 2003
After weeks of problems related to lead-contaminated water in Baltimore schools' drinking fountains, the system's top facilities manager has been asked to step down, school officials said yesterday. Pradeep Dixit's last day as the system's director of school facilities was Thursday. Officials would not discuss the specifics of Dixit's departure. But schools chief Carmen V. Russo said yesterday that Dixit had a history of poor performance in his position. "The final straw was a lack of responsiveness to the lead-in-the-water issue," Russo said.
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | February 25, 1999
As Baltimore County prepares to spend as much as $400 million to fix aging school buildings, some school board members fear the system is wasting money on outside companies to oversee and inspect construction projects because its facilities department is understaffed.The issue of facilities staffing was raised this week as the board approved $479,000 in contracts for work the department's officials said they normally would do but can't because of their workload."I really believe that we could have eliminated 25 percent of these expenses," said school board member H. J. "Jack" Barnhart, chairman of the board's building committee.
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | January 24, 1998
An audit of the Baltimore County school district's facilities department has found that officials did not properly plan major construction projects, sidestepped competitive bidding on some contracts and failed to justify cost overruns.The county auditor's 18-month review also detailed widespread problems in recordkeeping on school construction, while confirming problems disclosed in May 1996 by the district's internal review.The audit moved a step beyond the internal review by calling for a variety of reforms and policies aimed at forcing the facilities department to better justify its decisions and comply with Maryland bidding regulations.
NEWS
By Marego Athans and Marego Athans,SUN STAFF | May 15, 1996
Baltimore County school officials not only botched a renovation project at Deer Park Elementary School but overspent by $657,000 doing it, according to a scathing internal audit released last night on the building's problems and how they were handled.The audit, conducted over the past five weeks, shows that facilities officials violated numerous procedures, codes and school board practices in the 1993-1994 renovation.As a result, school officials moved children into a building in September 1994 before the work was complete, and the $1.6 million budgeted cost rose to $2.2 million.
NEWS
June 10, 1994
Mary E. BryantSun facilities workerMary E. Bryant, who worked in the facilities department of The Baltimore Sun Co., died Sunday of a heart attack at her West Baltimore home. She was 47.She was remembered by her colleagues as a cheerful worker who always smiled as she delivered mail in the building.George Smith, supervisor of the facilities department, said, "Mary was a good worker. She was a quiet person who was kind and considerate, and she gave a lot to the Big Brother and Big Sister program at her church."
NEWS
By Laura Loh and Laura Loh,SUN STAFF | March 23, 2005
Cementing an agreement reached a week ago, the Baltimore school board approved a contract last night that gives the city control over the maintenance of city schools. Under the contract, the city will provide custodial services, perform day-to-day and long-term maintenance, and conduct hazard abatement through August - providing $3 million in extra funding, employees and other resources to the school system. Although city officials will manage school facilities staff and assign city employees to work in schools, the city technically is serving as a contractor to the school system.
NEWS
June 1, 1996
THE SCATHING internal audit of the Baltimore County school facilities department released this week makes it clear that the renovation screw-up at Deer Park Elementary was symptomatic of greater ills.The best that can be said is that auditors have found no evidence of outright corruption -- of school officials on the take or steering business toward cronies -- though Superintendent Anthony G. Marchione's decision to refer the matter to the county attorney seems to indicate a suspicion of malfeasance.
NEWS
By Lynn Anderson and Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF | September 8, 1999
The Baltimore County school board filled two high-profile administrative positions last night -- one to boost minority achievement, the other to oversee a $530 million school rehabilitation program -- after difficulties that kept the jobs open longer than expected.On a unanimous vote, board members appointed James H. Wilson, former principal of Woodlawn High School, as director of minority achievement and multicultural education and named Donald F. Krempel director of the system's physical facilities department -- both effective today.
NEWS
By Lynn Anderson and Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF | September 6, 1999
Three years after Baltimore County school officials launched an ambitious plan to renovate Towson High School, the project is about to wrap up, but not without serious snags, including pending lawsuits with two contractors who say school officials served as poor managers. "This was an ill-fated project from Day Two," said Christopher S. Underhill, an attorney who represents Wohlsen/McLaughlin, a Pennsylvania firm hired by the school board in 1996 to act as construction manager.
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | February 25, 1999
As Baltimore County prepares to spend as much as $400 million to fix aging school buildings, some school board members fear the system is wasting money on outside companies to oversee and inspect construction projects because its facilities department is understaffed.The issue of facilities staffing was raised this week as the board approved $479,000 in contracts for work the department's officials said they normally would do but can't because of their workload."I really believe that we could have eliminated 25 percent of these expenses," said school board member H. J. "Jack" Barnhart, chairman of the board's building committee.
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | January 24, 1998
An audit of the Baltimore County school district's facilities department has found that officials did not properly plan major construction projects, sidestepped competitive bidding on some contracts and failed to justify cost overruns.The county auditor's 18-month review also detailed widespread problems in recordkeeping on school construction, while confirming problems disclosed in May 1996 by the district's internal review.The audit moved a step beyond the internal review by calling for a variety of reforms and policies aimed at forcing the facilities department to better justify its decisions and comply with Maryland bidding regulations.
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | November 13, 1997
A former top Baltimore County school budget official yesterday charged that she lost her job last year because she told outside auditors about allegations of widespread mismanagement in the district's facilities department.Jane G. Moncure said she made those charges at a closed-door school system hearing in which she sought reinstatement to the $78,000-per-year position or a financial settlement.The hearing for the former executive director of budget and finance was closed at the request of the school system's attorney.
NEWS
By Craig Timberg and Craig Timberg,SUN STAFF Staff writer Erin Texeira contributed to this article | January 14, 1997
Howard County's top parks official is proposing a $4 parking fee for its largest and most popular parks, a move that would continue the county's trend toward charging fees for recreation services.Recreation and Parks Director Jeffrey Bourne is proposing the fee to help pay for the maintenance of Howard's five regional parks, including Ellicott City's hugely popular Centennial Park, which gets more than 700,000 visitors a year.Bourne, pointing out that surrounding counties already have fees for their largest parks, said Howard could get much-needed revenue for parks maintenance by charging users who drive to Centennial, Rockburn Branch, Schooley Mill, Savage and Cedar Lane parks.
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | November 13, 1997
A former top Baltimore County school budget official yesterday charged that she lost her job last year because she told outside auditors about allegations of widespread mismanagement in the district's facilities department.Jane G. Moncure said she made those charges at a closed-door school system hearing in which she sought reinstatement to the $78,000-per-year position or a financial settlement.The hearing for the former executive director of budget and finance was closed at the request of the school system's attorney.
NEWS
By Mike James and Jean Thompson and Mike James and Jean Thompson,SUN STAFF | October 19, 1996
The official at the helm of the Baltimore school system's facilities department while a controversy has raged over safety problems with school boilers is being forced out of his job, sources told The Sun.Anthony A. Fears, 51, senior executive manager for the school system's Management Services Department, has been told that his position is being eliminated as of Dec. 31, according to two sources familiar with the decision.One of those sources said that the decision to eliminate Fears' job had nothing to do with his involvement in the boiler controversy, but rather centered on budget concerns and Fears' leadership style.
NEWS
By Mike James and Jean Thompson and Mike James and Jean Thompson,SUN STAFF | October 19, 1996
The official at the helm of the Baltimore school system's facilities department while a controversy has raged over safety problems with school boilers is being forced out of his job, sources told The Sun.Anthony A. Fears, 51, senior executive manager for the school system's Management Services Department, has been told that his position is being eliminated as of Dec. 31, according to two sources familiar with the decision.One of those sources said that the decision to eliminate Fears' job had nothing to do with his involvement in the boiler controversy, but rather centered on budget concerns and Fears' leadership style.
NEWS
By Marego Athans and Marego Athans,SUN STAFF | June 29, 1996
The Baltimore County school system, working its way out of a bureaucratic mess, has offered jobs back to more than half of its facilities department employees who were slated for layoffs yesterday -- a move some view as an admission that former managers made a big mistake in draining the staff of key technicians.New facilities director Gene L. Neff said his department will retain 10 or 11 workers among the 20 who had been scheduled for layoffs or forced retirements.People were chosen to stay on the basis of skills in roofing, drafting, air and water testing and other technical fields, enabling the school system to avoid costly contracts with private companies, Neff said.
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