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Linglestown Gazette: CD board hires outside bus firm

Monday, August 10, 2009

CD board hires outside bus firm

By a 5–1 vote, Central Dauphin School Board pulled the trigger on a five-year, $30 million deal to hire Chicago-based Durham School Services to run the district's bus operations. The approval authorizes the district's solicitor to finalize the agreement with Durham. Amazingly, Monday's meeting was the first time the issue was discussed at a public meeting.

Kathy Stone, A.J. Sallusti, Ed Troxell, Jay Wenger and Michael Brehm voted yes, and Ford Thompson cast the no vote. Christian Malesic, Justin McShane and Kristine Leber were absent.

Karen McConnell, the district's business manager, said outsourcing would significantly reduce costs and enable the district's aging bus fleet to be modernized.

Durham intends to hire CD school bus drivers, keep them on their current routes and give them a 45-cent hourly raise. But, the school bus drivers' union most likely will sue the district for breaking a labor contract that still has two years to run.

About 200 citizens and three TV news crews attended the meeting.

CLICK HERE for a meeting report from The Patriot-News, and HERE for a video report from WHTM abc27.

Also, Harrisburg-based Roxbury News has raw video of the meeting segment on bus outsourcing.



At 1:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CDBDA President would like to thank our extended family who came out tonight to show your support to the drivers' To the folks who got on the agenda to speak about your concerns. Thank You!

At 6:13 AM, Blogger Rob Nease said...

Once again, ladies and gentlemen, this is why I am moving away from this condemned school district.

I was a graduate of Central Dauphin High School - note I did not say I was a proud graduate. How can one be proud when people had to beg to get a principal to attend a school musical after hours? How can one be so proud when the administration uses such intimidation to control the teachers? And now, they have used every single trick in the book (including non-public meetings) to force this down our throats, touting that it will save, us, the taxpayers money.

The only reason I could not attend the meeting last night was because I had to work. I have to find some way to make money so that the almighty District can take it, make it their own, and screw it up.Even 'if' I attended, it would not have mattered. The CDBDA collected hundreds of signatures and that meant nothing to the school board.

Kathy Stone and others: Did you not hear Mr. Eric Epstein and Gene Stilp, protest extraordinaire? Ms. Stone, I went to school with one of your children. Do you still have any children in the school district? Do you still have a vested interest in this school district?

And the tag-team brothers.... where were you on this important vote? You lose the election so you decide you have better things to do? I hope the sundaes at 3-B's were worth it.

Like I said, as soon as my kids are old enough to start at CD East Junior, I am out of here. I want a school district that listens and has the best interest of all concerned at heart. ... not one that cowardly passes an initiative just days before the school year!

Just where is the character that you wish to instill in my children? YOU CERTAINLY DO NOT HAVE IT.
You teach my children to be victims and embrace this light "no bullying" policy when in fact YOU ARE THE BULLY. You have bullied this district, it's valued educators, the teachers, and the children. I do hope the politics is worth it. You will soon find out that it is not.

At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The school board, and administration, did it again!! I attended the school board meeting last night, at the last minute, because I was just told about it. How much sneakier can they be?? In my eyes, the outcome of this meeting was already decided. The public was never informed..just like in the hiring of the super. How could they make such an important decision with 3 weeks left until the start of school, with no information put out to the public, the taxpayers!! They will up our taxes, and make important decisions as if we did not exist. Sure they let people talk for a whole 3 minutes (which not one of them were in favor of outsourcing), they were handed a stack of petitions (signed by taxpayers I might add) , told about a legal and binding contract with the bus drivers.....and it still didn't matter. This was a done deal before the meeting even started. The only word they could use regarding the drives was their "intent" to hire them. Why were 3 of the board members absent for such an important meeting?? We all have questions and I am sure nobody will ever answer them. This whole process should have been started the school year prior with plenty of time to research, get input from the public, and yes keep the legal and binding contract with the drivers for the next 2 years. I have lost all faith in this school board, and the administration. This has been quite the summer....not a pleasant one at that!

At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With several of the board members absent how could this win a vote. I thought they needed the majority of the board members to pass something. I don't see how 6 votes out of a 9 member board can be legal. That is what happened with the commericial property assessment. Was this a legal vote?

At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only winners in this whole thing will be the lawyers. One would hope Ms. McConnell had lawyers assure the Board that the bus driver contract could be broken. Otherwise, any "savings" that could result from this will be far outstripped by legal bills.

At 9:52 AM, Anonymous Mel said...

This is the third decision this board has ramrodded down the tax payer's throat in the last two months. The first was the Cafeteria service, second was this Superintendent that no one wanted, and played the bobble head role along with Miller last night, and now the Bus Drivers. Next up re-districting. I would love to tell you all that getting involved would help, but it did not matter what we all said last night, nor did it matter about the 1800+ petitions that were signed. I beg that you all know who you vote for next time out, and EXACTLY what they stand for. A vote for Chris Judd in regioni 3 (our local region) will guarantee business as usual with this board.

At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that we should get rid of school boards and let the county handle the school system. Maryland has great schools and they are run by the county not each school district.

At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all I would like to thank Ford-Thompson for voting against this outsourcing. Second I would like to thank all the speakers who spoke in the bus drivers favor, I don't remember all their names but I want them to know I do appreciate your efforts to convince the school board to slow down and listen to the facts. I also want to thank Jay Omslaer for being amisleading person and such a sneak. I don't know the men from Durham but I hope they understand that the current office staff in place now, is just like the school board, think they are important and know the best for the distict (NOT)! I can only pray that Linda Dallago and Melissa Van Eck will be much more responsive to the taxpayers in their years to come. I would like to Thank DONNA RICUPERO, AND ALL OF THE CDBDA OFFICERS for having Back bone to stand up to all these bosrd members and Jay Omslaer in our effort, None of them respected her OR ANY OF THEM ,and least of all Mr. Omslaer. mR. oMSLAER ALL i CAN SAY IS YOU SHOULD Hang your head in prayer AND ASK GOD TO FORGIVE YOU FOR ALL THE DAMAGE YOU HAVE DONE TO ALL THE 131 DRIVERS. Remember , what goes around comes around, I want to also thank all the mechanics that did their VERY BEST TO REPAIR THE BUSES WITH THE LITTLE INVENTORY THAT mr. Omslaer allowed Steve Buffington to have. I hope the Durham team will see their way clear to keep the mechanics also. As has been said MANY times in these comments, it's not the drivers and the mechanics are not the trouble is in the coordination of transportation and the office staff. God help the drivers, I hope you get a better management team in house and see the staff in place now for what they are.


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