D159 Board Reduces Transportation Director Job, Clarifies Budget
The D159 Board of Education approved changing transportation post from full- to part-time at its Sept. 5 meeting. clarified its replacement fund for the district's maintenance truck at its Sept. 5 meeting.
The Mokena School District 159 Board of Education adjusted the status of the district's director of transportation position and clarified a change to the proposed 2013 budget at its Sept. 5 meeting at Mokena Elementary School.
The board voted 4-2 to approve a motion to change the employment status of Ron Kaczorowski, the district's current director of transportation, from full- to part-time. Board members Katherine Moore and Scott Peters voted against the motion, while Jeff Regan abstained from the vote. Kaczorowski will be honorably dismissed from full-time employment after Oct. 5, and he will be reassigned to his part-time role on Oct. 8.
When asked to explain the decision during public comment by Lincoln-Way High School District 210 bus driver Ed Rooney, who has a child in D159, Board President Patrick Markham explained that the change was a solution to a discrepancy between the salary and the duties and responsibilities of D159's transportation director. According to Markham, Kaczorowski is currently paid a similar amount to manage 10 bus routes as D210's transportation director, who oversees more than 100 routes.
"When we've got to be as prudent as possible with our tax dollars," Markham said. "I think we ought to pay according to what the job demands, and a new business manager can also take over some of the oversight."
Peters spoke out against the decision to reduce the position to part-time status, claiming that the district's lack of any substitute bus drivers besides Kaczorowski could cause problems.
"With the 10 drivers, the only sub we have being Ron, and with having a new business manager coming on, I honestly think this is poor timing in going to this part-time route," Peters said." I think we're doing ourselves a disservice, and I think once we do get in trouble with not having enough bus drivers, it's really going to come back and bite us."
Another order of business at the meeting was adjusting the budgetary status of the money set aside to replace the district's maintenance truck, which Supt. Steve Stein said was on its last leg. That money will now be part of the Operations and Maintenance Grounds Replacement line-item, rather than the contingency fund.
The board also decided to transfer money from other parts of the budget to create the truck fund, rather than just creating a new $30,000 expenditure that would have increased the district's deficit by an additional $30,000. Instead, the district cut $10,000 from a medical and life insurance fund and saved $22,000 by decreasing the salary of the business manager position from $90,000 to $68,000 with the hiring of John Troy. These savings will be combined to create a truck fund of $32,000 in the operations and management budget.
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