Another Issue; Another Advisory Committee!

Let us welcome yet another Advisory Committee to the Timberlane fold….




Dr. Metzler is pleased to report the establishment of a Superintendent’s

Transportation Advisory Committee which will meet on a quarterly basis to work

on efficiency, recruitment of drivers and overall quality of the transportation

Committee membership will be comprised of District administrators, bus drivers

and representation from First Student and Provider companies.

September 29, 2015

Notice that the dates, time and place of these meetings are not announced. Yet another advisory committee working behind the scenes.

Last week I asked for bus transportation to be added to the agenda as a result of a Sandown’ resident’s experience which I don’t want to portray as serious. (Whenever a change in routes is done, it is normal and expected for there to be occasional glitches.) To my astonishment, transportation was added to the agenda and now a whole advisory committee is established. I’m not surprised because every time an operational issue arises in the district, an advisory committee pops up to take it off the school board’s plate – and out of the public eye. The only thing left for the school board to do is to polish its own plate glass window.

I should hasten to add and clarify that the issue was minor and corrected the next day.  I do not want to imply that there is anything serious going on with our buses.  Not at all. I would simply like the occasional issues talked of frankly and openly at a school board meeting with a full understanding of how they happened and how they were corrected.



Filed under Sandown Issues

17 responses to “Another Issue; Another Advisory Committee!

  1. Concerned Sandown Parent

    But… that’s not the job of the school board. The SB doesn’t run and oversee the district, it creates policies and oversees the superintendent.

  2. Curt Springer

    Setting up and running takes a certain amount of time, of the superintendent and of others. A SB member has requested that some incident be discussed by the SB. It seems to me that the superintendent should participate in the SB discussion and get some guidance from them before creating a committee which might be a good idea or might be overkill.

    This communication bolsters the impression that the superintendent operates autonomously.

    And the the method and tone of the communication, in the voice of his assistant and the language that he is “pleased”, gives the impression that he is some sort of beneficent sovereign.

    • Curt Springer

      Meant to write “Setting up and running a committee…..”

    • mark Acciard

      The superintendent, as well as the SB have trouble with the concept that the Super works for and is answerable to the SB.

      BOTH act, as if the Super gives policy to the SB, and THEY are answerable to him, as well as the BudCom

  3. Paul

    If a minor issue happened involving a bus and it was corrected the next day then why are you overreacting by adding it to a meeting agenda? You are known to be against frivolous spending. You should work on frivolously wasting people’s time

    • Because it brought up questions in my mind as to how it could be avoided in the future. Something happens once and a prudent manager addresses the cause to prevent future occurrences. That is hardly a waste of time. The symptoms were corrected. The root problem? I don’t know.

      • Concerned citizen

        thats the problem, you aren’t a manager, the school board is not a manager. Your job is to oversee the superintendent and make sure he executes according to policy. Your job is to write the policy along with his input, but you and the school board are in no way the “managers” of the district. Stop wasting people’s time, energy, and money. No one is listening to you anymore, yet your blog is like a train wreck and I can’t look away. I come here for comic relief along with many others I assume.

      • This is the last comment I am accepting from your IP address because I believe you are Bustmore Gas under another alias.

      • Paul

        You are correct. A “prudent manager” addresses the issue. Which according to you and “parent in question” was addressed. Exception management is something that the person in charge of operations is paid to handle. If they fail to correct then it is proper to move up the chain. But to email the SB, the superintendent, and ask to have transportation issues added to a school board agenda based on one exception is a fine example of obnoxious bureaucratic behavior…and a waste of taxpayers time and money.

      • Waste of taxpayers’ time and money? Not following you there. The SB is a volunteer organization. Everyone presenting on this issue at the SB was salaried. In what way is discussing busing issues a waste of time and money? It turned out there were issues going on in Atkinson with their buses. Did you watch this meeting?

      • Paul

        Yes…waste of time and money. The superintendent is paid by the taxpayers. It is a waste of his time, in my opinion, to be emailed with every single little issue. Where does it stop? Did you email the Governor and/or POTUS? There are people paid to deal with transportation issues. Let them deal with them. Also, if the situation was resolved as you and the parent said then it is a waste of time (aka money) to perseverate over it at a meeting.
        If I buy a toaster at Walmart and it does not work when I bring it home should I A). Bring it back for a refund or replacement by speaking to the hourly associate or supervisor that will handle the situation or B). demand a meeting with the CEO of Walmart and the Board of Directors demanding retribution and an investigation into why my toaster did not work? One is a waste of time and money and the other is not.
        And, no, I did not watch the meeting because it is filled with minutiae and trivial content that most citizens do not care about. Such as why the bus was late…

      • Parent in question here...

        Waste of time and money? Ask my wife if being late was a waste of her time and money. Ask me if being late was a waste of my time and money. We both hold positions that rely on us to be at work at such-designated times. If you read my response in detail you would see I received an “explanation” and not a “resolution” as you so implied. I think there is quite a varied difference between the two. This is by no means a knock on the folks responsible for handling transportation – I am extremely appreciative and thankful for the job and service they provide day in and day out with hardly ever any issues, at least any that the majority of us see or deal with. Yes, a couple of unrelated issues occurred, ironically on the same day. I felt it prudent to address it and therefore I was given an “explanation” and from that you build off of it, you work going forward to find out a “resolution”.
        Ok, so you take your toaster back to Walmart and get a replacement in which that one fails as well. You take that one back too. At this point you either ask for your money back or go for a totally different brand, not to mention the fact that you’ve had to spend all this extra time out of you’re own schedule to go back and forth for this. Would you just grumble about it to yourself and hope the issue doesn’t arise again or would you like to see action taken to help fix it and resolve it? You need the toaster, right? It’s an every day staple you need but if there’s an issue you don’t just take the toaster off the counter and go without. Your actions, however small they may be, work toward finding a resolution one way or another. Turns out several other consumers have the same issue and all return their toasters. In this case there is no other brand or model toaster you can try as an alternative – this is the only one on the shelf that is available. What does Walmart do with the defective toasters? They don’t just get thrown in a bin and shrugged off. They send them back to the manufacturer where they do the research to see what the root problem is. I didn’t go “demand” any retribution here. I brought my toaster to the Customer Service desk in which I was happy that my CS Rep did the right thing and looked to help resolve and not brush it under the rug. And from there the CS management team deemed it necessary to enact a committee to discuss “toaster issues”. It wasn’t the consumer here that requested a committee and it wasn’t the CS Rep that requested the committee. I suppose satisfies you that your CS Rep just throws it in the bin and walks away.

      • Paul

        “I should hasten to add and clarify that the issue was minor and corrected the next day. “

      • So is a broken toaster.

  4. Parent in question here...

    Ok, so this is obviously creating more of a stir than I ever imagined. To shed some light on this situation – I am the parent in question that brought up the issue. There were not 1 but 2 instances that affected both my children on the same day – one a high school student, the other elementary. My son’s HS bus was I believe 40 minutes late on the morning in question. I remember last year receiving one of the “robo-calls” from the district when a bus was late and pick up times would be affected, but not on this day in question. My wife who had driven our son to the bus stop had to be to work at a specific time that day and could no longer wait. Luckily another parent was there and he was able to stay with them until it arrived. Later that same morning I brought my daughter out to her stop a couple minutes before the bus was to arrive – as we always do. We waited, waited some more and waited until 20 minutes after it was scheduled to be there until I finally drove her to school before she would be late. Mind you these are 2 totally different buses/drivers so it would not be because the earlier bus was late that the second one would be also. I got to work and sent an email to Sandy Hodgkins and copied Donna as well as she is our SB rep – these incidents affected one of her constituents I thought it prudent to keep her in the mix. Donna in turn emailed Dr Metzler and Ms Steenson in which Nancy responded back that it was being handled by Sandy Hodgkins. That afternoon I did receive a response back from Sandy giving me an explanation and I was very happy to have heard back from her. I in turn let her know how appreciative I was that she responded and that she was looking in to this for me.
    Due to this day’s events Donna sent me a message saying that she was going to ask to have transportation added to the agenda so incidents such as these can be discussed and see how they could be rectified/avoided in the future. My wife was late to work that day, I was late to work that day – so ask us if this was an “overreaction” to have it added to the agenda, or ask us if this is “frivolously wasting” our time here. I was happy to hear that it would be brought up as a discussion point. Maybe this brought up other issues within the district that Metzler thought it should be looked into deeper. But, who knows? I guess that’s up to this “committee” to decide now.

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