FACTS about Public Roofing Procurement, and Oversight. Copyright 2010 by Robert R. Solomon

Thursday, April 26, 2018

"OMNIA Partners Announces Purchase of U.S. Communities"


U.S Communities has been SOLD. I have to immediately work with the new owners, and remove roofing from their list of offerings.  USC fronts for Garland, and now that U.S. Communities is out of the way, perhaps the new owners will listen to reason.  

ROOFING does not belong in a Purchasing Cooperative's list of offerings, and it's also a reckless scam that cannot be supported.

I am very happy to bring you this news, and will report back after speaking to OMNIA's leadership team.

While I remain optimistic, will give them the chance to be heroes.  If they fail to negotiate in good faith, I'll  let you know.  The BOD may be impossible to reach, as they normally are, but I'll get there.

Copy and paste for full article:


Most of this drivel is "cookie cutter" language of Purchasing Cooperatives who are 100% against fair, open, competition, and bidding.  It is doubtful they can summon the decency to stop stealing from our schools through Garland, Ind.  

U.S. Communities have been a recurring nightmare, but maybe OMNIA management can understand the risk involved? 

 NOTE:  Retired 2003, do not solicit, nor accept, compensation or personal advancement of any kind.

"OMNIA Partners Announces Purchase of U.S. Communities"

Acquisition will partner two national government cooperative purchasing leaders for combined savings and value for public agencies

FRANKLIN, Tenn.--()--OMNIA Partners announces that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Communities Program Management, LLC (CPM), the organization that staffs and manages the operations of the U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance (U.S. Communities).
“Our mission at U.S. Communities has always been to drive savings, efficiency and the highest value through cooperative purchasing”“Our mission at U.S. Communities has always been to drive savings, efficiency and the highest value through cooperative purchasing”
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The U.S. Communities program provides world class procurement resources and solutions to local and state government agencies, school districts (K-12), higher education, and nonprofits. Participants have access to a broad line of competitively solicited contracts with best in class national suppliers.
OMNIA Partners is a national group purchasing organization composed of three subsidiaries: National IPA, Prime Advantage, and Corporate United.
“As the procurement industry evolves, it is important to provide incremental value to all stakeholders,” says M. Todd Abner, President & CEO of OMNIA Partners. “In the public procurement sector, we have found these two companies to be highly complementary, which will become even more clear as we take a methodical approach to operate the organizations.”
“Our mission at U.S. Communities has always been to drive savings, efficiency and the highest value through cooperative purchasing,” said Kevin Juhring, President of CPM/U.S. Communities. “Our discussions with OMNIA Partners revealed the alignment of the two organizations in our mission of providing savings, efficiency and value to public agencies. We are very excited about what we will collectively be able to do to increase the benefit to public agencies.”
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is anticipated to close in the second quarter of 2018.
About OMNIA Partners
OMNIA Partners is a leading group purchasing organization (GPO) in procurement and supply chain management. Comprised of three subsidiaries: Corporate United, Prime Advantage and National IPA, OMNIA Partners serves over 35 industries in both the private and public sector. Through Corporate United, the GPO provides world-class indirect supply and service offerings for companies across the globe, including more than 20% of the Fortune 1000. Through Prime Advantage, the GPO offers access to elite direct materials vendors specializing in commodities, engineered components, raw materials, services and supplies. The GPO also covers sourcing needs across the public sector through National IPA, with fully transparent, value-driven pricing. OMNIA Partners leverages the economies of scale of its group with decades of procurement experience to execute mutually rewarding contracts in a multitude of verticals, while providing an extensive portfolio of sourcing solutions and partnerships for its members and suppliers.
About U.S. Communities
U.S. Communities is a leading national government purchasing cooperative, providing world class government procurement resources and solutions to local and state government agencies, school districts (K-12), higher education institutions, and nonprofit organizations. U.S. Communities was founded in 1996 as a partnership with our National Sponsors. Today, our National Sponsors include the Association of School Business Officials, the National Association of Counties, the National League of Cities, the United States Conference of Mayors, and the National Governors Association. U.S. Communities is the first cooperative , education institutions and nonprofits utilize U.S. Communities contracts to procure more than $2.7 billion in products and services annually.program to earn the NIGP Accredited Cooperative (NAC) accreditation. More than 55,000 registered agenciesContacts
For OMNIA Partners
Paul Lindsley, 615-585-3487
I'll let you know what Mr. Lindsley has to say.  You may also contact him, and express the same concerns.
If we don't act in UNITY, we'll be dealing with the same rabid hyenas, fighting the same morbid scams.
Simply put, we want "Fairness', and not be forced to deal with Purchasing Cooperatives who are currently working to exclude ALL trades, so their 2-3% "commission" is, of course higher.  The Garland "Salesman" gets a 25% 'Commission".  INSTANTLY, your tax dollar is worth 73 cents, and nothing to show for it.
I'll stand up to OMNIA, and Mr. Lindsley, will you?
Thank you for spending your valuable time with me, and hope you get something out of what I have to say.
Reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to keep looking "UP".
NOTE:  Retired 2003, do not solicit, nor accept, compensation or personal advancement of any kind.

Robert R. Solomon
Public Procurement Analyst
State Certified 
Tampa, Florida

Monday, April 23, 2018

Search this site for public roofing scams.


The purpose of this site is to increase public awareness of "Predatory Sales Models" and "Exclusion" of  fair competition in public works.

Everything I say here is backed by  public record, and subsequent documentation.  If I say something that is factually incorrect, I will retract it.  Constructive criticism is encouraged, and welcomed.

NOTE;  Retired 2003, do not solicit nor accept, compensation or personal advancement of any kind.

Architects, Public Administrators, Contractors, Consultants, Manufacturers, and Distributors, are all affected by "Proprietary Specifications".  A sales trick to eliminate all competition for taxpayer money.

In the upper left search box, please type keywords:  School Roofing Scam, Purchasing Cooperative, Taxpayer abuse, Tremco, Garland, sole source, etc.

Approximately 150 posts all told.  

FACT:  Garland, and Tremco do not make half the products they sell, and are not found in any local roofing supply house. It must be trucked in from Ohio.  You are essentially exporting 70% of your local tax dollar to other economies.  

YOU, and all  taxpayers should be concerned that we are paying upwards of 50% MORE for roofing and duped into thinking you've received a value.  The opposite is true.  

If you are working with a Purchasing Cooperative, your district is taking a beating that is 100% avoidable.  Certainly, I've illustrated the scam that is undeniable. 

I know all the manufacturers, and have installed millions of sq. ft. of any subset of roofing.  Steep slope, single ply (EPDM, TPO, PVC), built up, modified, etc.  I've successfully completed over 100 public schools, and know what I'm talking about.

If I don't know the answer, Roof Consultant's Institute (RCI) will.  RCI is the standard for roofing excellence, and an honorable organization with top level consultants.

Many are Architects, Consultants, Engineers, Contractors, Manufacturers, etc. ,ALL are credentialed, and will have someone near you.

I do not belong to any organization.  A lot of my work is very sensitive, and may cause discomfort through association.  They are not allowed to speak freely, while I can tell the truth without fear of retribution.

Please understand that I have no beef with individuals trying to make an honest living.  It's the "Predatory Sales Model I despise.  I do not want to "Exclude" those mentioned, and welcome them to any public bid list.

Instead of "Favoritism", seek only fair competition for our own tax dollars.  

Roofers will decide all things roofing, and not elite sectors who are without credential, experience, or the exhaustive safety training it takes.  

"My name is Ron, and I'm a roofer.........For some reason, feel like I should be at an AA meeting."

I will help anyone who asks for help.

This is my mission, and will see it through. 

NOTE;  Retired 2003, do not solicit nor accept, compensation or personal advancement of any kind.

Reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to keep looking "UP".

It is humbling that anyone cares one bit about what I have to say, and I am thankful.


Robert R. "Ron" Solomon
Public Procurement Analyst
State Certification  CCC 1325620
Tampa, Florida

Sunday, April 8, 2018

GAG Sheet Metal Sues School District for "Exclusion of Competition", and unfair procurement policy.


Public Procurement is a nightmare for the average human brain: The pompous attitudes, self important school board members, Superintendents, and those who decimate school maintenance budgets through "Bid Rigging".

Anything you need to know about this incredible scam is contained on this site,  Use keywords: School Scam, Purchasing cooperatives exposed, Tremco, Garland, u.s, Communities, School roofing, etc. in the search box (upper left corner of this page.

Okay, let's get started with the rant. I don't know if a rant backed by public record is a rant at all.   I just research, and write about public roofing scams.  You are the judge, and I welcome constructive criticism.

I don't traffic in opinions, emotions, or personal gain.  Simply put, I am in the "Fairness"Business".

Gag Sheet Metal & HVAC sues school district for "Exclusion" of competition..  

How many examples of "sole source", "Proprietary Specifications", "no compete" and Purchasing Cooperative manipulation must I provide?  Your schools, and all publicly funded projects are soft targets for this "Roofing Scam".


Gag Sheet Metal sues school district
DEC 28, 2016
Staff Writer
NEW ULM — Gag Sheet Metal (GSM) Incorporated is suing Independent School District (ISD) 88 over alleged infractions that favored its competitor Tremco Incorporated.
On Thursday, Dec. 22, GSM filed a complaint alleging that ISD 88’s bidding process for the partial reroofing of the middle school was not neutral in execution.
GSM alleges that Tremco had an advantage in the bidding process because the type of roof it provides was the preferred roof type in the plan, due to Tremco being involved in the drafting process.
GSM provides ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM) roofs. EPDM consists of sheets of durable rubber laid across the structure. Seams are sealed with liquid adhesives or specialized tape.
Tremco customarily provides built-up roofs, consisting of sheets of saturated felt cemented together with asphalt, then covered in a “cap sheet” of asphalt or pitch surfaced with gravel or rock.
The complaint cites numerous points of the plan as putting increased costs on EPDM roofs for “no scientific or engineering reason.”
Alleged discrepancies include but are not limited to:
• The built-up style requires one-eighth inch of insulation per foot, whereas EPDM requires one-quarter inch.
• The built-up style is allowed to keep current insulation on most of the roof where EPDM must strip the roof down to the structural deck.
• Built-up requires installers with five years experience, but 10 years of experience is needed for EPDM.
• A flood test, required only for EPDM roofs, calls for the roof to be sealed and two and one-half inches of water left for 48 hours.
James Strommen, lead attorney for the district, said in a phone call Tuesday that ISD 88 has every right to decide a specific design in such situations.

"Public bodies are entitled to determine designs and equipment for the good of the people" , Strommen said.

That statement is patently false.  They may provide a "Standard", include 4 manufacturers, and competitively bid the project.  "Competition" includes manufacturers, and contractors who routinely work together.  

If Mr. Strommen were right, all public officials would have a "Right" to buy Mercedes 600's, without question.  I know how absurd that sounds, but Mr. Strommen cannot explain a "sole source" competition for taxpayer money.  It is against the law, and Counsel knows it.

My question is why administrators fight to the death for unscrupulous vendors, and Purchasing Cooperatives.  I'll express this sentiment to Mr. Strommen personally, and post his reply ASAP. 

This argument I will win every single time.  My position is impossible to argue against, and I know it.

The administrators do not have "Rights'.  The taxpayers own the buildings, and ground they sit on.  Administrators are paid by taxpayers to be responsible  custodians of OUR money.   Mr. Strommer has absolutely no authority to exclude competition. 
“Public bodies are entitled to detemine designs and equipment for the good of the people,” Strommen said. He added that multiple companies are expected to bid, thus Tremco has no exceptional advantage in the bidding process.

By "multiple companies", I'm assuming Tremco Applicators.  Tremco is a manufacturer, and not a contractor.  Why not include manufacturers that Contractors are trained, and equipped to install?  Contractors that spend huge sums of moneyon safety programs, training, etc.  They are the ones who have "Rights" to compete for their own tax dollar.
The lead attorney for GSM was unavailable for comment before print time.
The complaint astlhe plan.o alleges that a Tremco employee had a supervisory role in the drafting of the plans presented at a Dec. 6 meeting of potential contractors indicated they had been drawn by a “BDK” and approved by “R. Palmer.” The complaint alleges that R. Palmer is Ryan Palmer, a senior field representative for Tremco, who represented Tremco at the meeting.
The complaint alleges that without a signature assuring that the plans had been drafted by a licensed architect or engineer, ISD  88 broke state law.After the Dec. 6 meeting contractors received another copy of the documents that lacked the BDK and R. Palmer references. Instead they bore the stamp and e-signature of Terrance Duffy, a licensed engineer.
The signature stated that the plans had been “reviewed by (Duffy) or under (Duffy’s) direct supervision.”
The signature and stamp do not bring the documents back in line with the law, according to the complaint.
“That assertion does not comply with the requirements of state law, that the plans and specifications, including these drawings, be prepared by a licensed architect or engineer,” stated the complaint.
GSM seeks to stop the bid opening process that had been scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 29. The company also seeks to prevent any bids being awarded until the plans are prepared by a licensed engineer and provide equivalent requirements for both styles of roof.

A motion hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, in the Nicollet County Court House (501 S. Minnesota St., St. Peter).
Connor Cummiskey can be emailed at ccummiskey@nujournal.com.

Much respect to the Author of this article, Mr. Connor Commiskey.  

I would suggest thanking him for the article, and the article has a place for your comments.I should have a comment posted by tomorrow, and you are welcome to follow my lead.  Please take note of the money, and savings involved, Fairly typical of public projects, and especially schools.  

We want to compete for our own tax dollars, and feed our families, not be forced to "cheat" the public to get work.  We know it's illegal, and do not enjoy the position we're in.  Purchasing Cooperatives LIE to you about being competitive.  I alone can buy material at much lower prices, give a much better manufacturers warranty, and have the entire system comes with a 30 year labor, and material warranty.  If your roof leaks, or needs replacement during the warranty term, the manufacturer will fix it for free.  

Who do you want standing by you, GAF, Firestone, Johns Manville, Carlisle Syntec, or Tremco?  Tremco was fined $51,000,000.00 by the DOJ for abusing GSA contracts.  Now Tremco is being sued by the SEC for lying.  The suit is against Trremco, and their Attorney.

DOJ Case:: 


SEC Case:


GAF, Firestone, Carlisle Syntec, and Johns Manville are honorable manufacturers, and preferred by anyone in the roofing industry. They would  welcome Garland, and Tremco to any bid list. 

Please don't take my word for any of this, and simply type "School Roofing Scam" into your browser, and see what comes up.  Then, do the same on YouTube.  You will only find Tremco, and Garland in the investigative reports.  All of this "arranged:" of course by the Purchasing Cooperative.  U.S. Communities is disgraceful, and at one time had 55 pages of BLANK LINE ITEMS as their Garland 'Competitive Pricing".  USC are liars, and I can prove it to anyione who wishes to comment, or contact me.  I forgot to mention that Cobb County (Georgia) Commission gets a 5% "kickback" in the scam, and here's the actual contract verbiage:

I don't make this stuff up folks", and if you look closely, EVERYBODY is getting a piece of the pie, while taxpayers suffer.  These are lying Cobb County Commissioners, and lying  U. S. Communities.  

5% kickback is beyond arrogance, and lustful greed.  Everybody imn Cobb County should know this, and Commissioner Joe Tommie is at the center of it all.  I've written to him many times, and was incensed when I saw an article in American City and County featuring Joe Tommie, shilling for Garland.


Anyway, here are the fine Cobb County Commissioners stuffing their pockets with 5% "Kickback" that YOU are paying for.  For them, I feel nothing but contempt.

“5.1 Administrative Fees. Supplier shall pay to U.S. Communities a monthly administrative fee based upon the total sales price of all purchases shipped and billed pursuant to the Master Agreement, excluding taxes, in the amount of two percent (2%) of aggregate purchases made during each calendar month (individually and collectively, “Administrative Fees”). Supplier’s annual sales shall be measured on a calendar year basis. All Administrative Fees shall be payable in U.S. Dollars and shall be made by wire to U.S. Communities, or its designee or trustee as may be directed in writing by U.S. Communities. Administrative Fees shall be due and payable within thirty (30) days of the end of each calendar month for purchases shipped and billed during such calendar month. U.S. Communities agrees to pay to Lead Public Agency five percent (5%) of all Administrative Fees received from Supplier to help offset Lead Public Agency’s costs incurred in connection with managing the Master Agreement nationally.”

NOTE: Retired 2003, do not solicit nor accept compensation, or personal advancement of any kind.

Before I get further into this, want you to know the two main "Vendors"  are Tremco, and Garland.  I have no dislike for their salesmen who are only trying to make a living.  My beef is with their "Corporate Model;" which is to exclude any, and all competition.  NO "COMPETITION EVER EXISTED, OR OCCURRED".

Roofing, nor any other construction trade should allow administrators, or purchasing cooperative to pick winners and losers through "Exclusion".

The good people at Gag Roofing and Sheet Metal properly bid this project fairly, competitively, and in good faith.  This is what the taxpayers need, and deserve.  This practice is decimating school maintenance budgets across the US, Canada, and UK.  To an uninformed person, or "layman, could see how shiny pamphlets could be soothing.  You will not feel "soothed" when you are disgraced in  If you ever hear "WE HANDLE IT ALL", Run away at top speed.

I do not want Garland, or Tremco excluded from any bid list.  I want them to "Compete", just like the rest of us.  To get the best price you must contact the "Majors".  GAF, Firestone, Carlisle, Johns Manville.  Ever heard of them?  No?  Let me bring you up to date:

1.)  GAF - Worlds largest roofing material manufacturer.
Firestone - Backed by Billions in Bridgestone assets.
Johns Manvillwe: A Berkshire Hathaway Co.
Carlisle Syntec:

 There are many more, but can you image any reason that should preclude competitors like that?   My best suggestion is to offer a "Voluntary Alternate" to any closed specification project.  The school board, or public entity will see the difference between true competition, and "sole source" contracts.

Images below:


Click to enlarge NRCA statement, or click the link above.

Roofing is not a "Specialty" trade, and brand name (the ones I've illustrated) are readily available at local roofing supply house.  NOTE:  You are retaining approximately 70% .of your local tax dollar.  Garland, nor Tremco have distributors, and are not locally stocked.

If you're not competitive in the private market, you are not competitive in the public market. Period.

Please read this, and understand it's happening all over the place.  I hear about it all the time from respected sources, and publications, in all 50 states.  The Roofing Discipline deserves better than me, but from what I know, the Cavalry is preparing to saddle up.   One example is :  National Roofing Contractors Association  (NRCA) position paper:

Again:  NOTE: Retired 2003, do not solicit nor accept compensation, or personal advancement of any kind.

Please understand  I have zero financial interest in any of this (except my taxes).  Everything I say is supported by public record, or accepted science. 

I would like to thank the honorable people at Gag Sheet metal for their courageous stand.  Here, we do not advertise, or prefer one vendor over another, all things being equal.  In this case, I think Gag deserves credit, and I'm going to give uit.

GAG Sheet Metal:


They are good people, a great asset to the community, and I'd recommend them to anyone within their territorial scope of operations  

  I think GSM deserves the love, so I'm going to give it to them.

Much Respect.

You honor our Brothers, and Sisters of the roofing discipline,and we are proud of you.  GSM transcends the stereotypical roofer image, and we need more like them.  

Thank you GSM.

NOTE: Retired 2003, do not solicit nor accept compensation, or personal advancement of any kind.

Reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to keep looking "UP".

Robert R. Solomon
Public Procurement Analyst
Florida State Certified

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