CHINO - Despite the impairment of glaucoma and mental disability, Aaron Tolchin is happily employed as a janitor serving the city and hopes to keep it that way for some time to come.

"I hope I can continue working for the city of Chino," said Tolchin, who has been a janitor in Chino for the past three years and has been with Lincoln Training Center for the past five years.

Lincoln, an El-Monte nonprofit that trains the developmentally disabled and provides them with jobs, will continue providing custodial services for Chino on a month-to-month basis after a recent City Council decision.

The company's original three-year contract with Chino sunsets this year and the council will consider contract bid prices from Lincoln and competing janitorial companies in September.

Tolchin is one of 15 Lincoln Training Center employees who clean city buildings such as the Carolyn Owens Community Center and the Chino Senior Center.

Paul Jacobs, 82, a regular at the senior center, appreciates the job done by company employees.

"They're always on time, and they do a good job," Jacobs said. "It's always very clean here."

In a 3-2 decision, The City Council recently voted to reject a city staff recommendation to approve a contract with Los Angeles-based Valley Maintenance Corp., the lowest bidder of five competitors. Lincoln provided the highest bid price at $219,000. Council members Eunice Ulloa, Glenn Duncan and Tom Haughey voted to continue the contract with Lincoln on a temporary basis until September.


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Lincoln's annual asking price of $219,900, was $90,000 more than the $129,996 that Valley Maintenance Corp. asked.

Chino Valley Unified teacher Sindi Wasserman, a former teacher of two of Lincoln's Training Center's Chino janitors, spoke on behalf of the company at the council meeting.

"I'm asking you to think with your hearts, not just dollars," Wasserman said. "This company has done a fantastic job for the city, and there are faces that go with the people."

Ulloa said Lincoln Training Center employees should continue to work in Chino, citing excellent service and lack of complaints.

Mayor Dennis Yates and Councilman Earl Elrod provided the dissenting votes.

"I understand their willingness to continue working and they've done good work for us in the past, but their bid was over $90,000 higher than the other company and that was a hard pill for me to swallow," said Yates.

"My heart goes out to these people, but I have a fiscal responsibility to the people of Chino. I personally wanted to go with the staff's recommendation."