Courthouse Cleaning Spat

There were four cleaning companies up for contract renewal. County staffers recommended two of those contracts which are minority-owned companies not be renewed, which got commissioner bill proctor pretty upset.

When the topic was cleaning in Leon County's public buildings, the commission debate got dirty. County staffers ranked four cleaning companies, recommending two contracts not be renewed. When the only white-owned company got the highest score, Bill Proctor let loose.

"This is racism. Commissioner Proctor, I'm not going to sit here and let you call the county staff racist. That's precisely what it is. It's institutional."

The debate dragged on half an hour.

"I don't know what the toilet paper situation is in each bathroom, and I don't care."

Proctor won't back down from his allegation of institutional racism, saying county contracts to white companies go unquestioned.

"The only three black companies up all night, the highest score any of them had was 50 percent. Black people have been cleaning up this county, Florida, Georgia, the South, all over America for 300 years. Now, I don't think the evaluation that people can't use a broom or a mop and suddenly these employees can't do that.

In the end, commissioners voted five to two to extend all four companies' cleaning contracts. That went against staff recommendations to re-bid two of the contracts, both of which are with minority-owned cleaning services.