School vehicle use

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 31, 2007

left to administrators


FRANKLIN—The Franklin City School Board decided not to vote and to leave it up to administration whether drivers of school division vehicles will be able to take those vehicles home with them between running their routes.

As it stands, a few drivers who live in close proximity of the schools are taking buses home, which according to Superintendent Bill Pruett, is “grievable,” because you can’t allow some drivers to do this and not allow everyone to.

Last month, a vote was tabled regarding the issue after questions were raised about drivers also taking school-owned cars home. More information was provided by Transportation Supervisor Ricky Blunt during the Thursday evening meeting, including the additional costs of having those vehicles driven home.

Blunt’s report also stated that only two drivers occasionally drive their buses back home during the middle of the day. It also included the fact that each of the four car drivers live less than a mile from the bus garage.

Four options were submitted for consideration concerning the use of the vehicles to and from personal residences:

n Allow all drivers to continue to drive their vehicles home for a current estimated fuel cost of $3,368.22, with a portential fuel cost of $7,183.71.

2)Allow only drivers of buses and cars residing within city limits to take vehicles home for a current estimated

annual fuel cost of $407.22 per year and a potential annual cost of $1,054.71. Currently, only three residing in the city drive buses home consistently.

3)Allow only car drivers to drive their cars home for a total estimated fuel cost of $83.46 per year.

4)Require all drivers to park their vehicles at the bus garage.

School Board Chairman Bill Scarboro asked Blunt, “Is it my understanding that item No. 4 is your recommendation?

“Actually, after reading the article in reference to this situation in The Tidewater News (last month), it seemed to be interpreted that we have a problem with (drivers taking buses home).

“I’d just like to clarify that we don’t. We are very fortunate to have the drivers that we have. They are very dedicated and conscientious, and they love the children.

“They should be commended for the job they’re doing.

“Personally, I wouldn’t have a problem with the local drivers taking buses home —it’s not a great cost. But, if it’s grievable, I guess we can’t do that.”

Pruett told the board that they did not have to take action, that the matter could be handled administratively.

School Board member Robert Meredith said he trusted the administration’s judgement.

It was decided the board would not take action, and that it should be emphasized that the bus drivers needed to be publicly thanked for all they do.