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Letter to the Editor 3.31.2016

Dear Editor,

Years ago all rural communities operated under the same system as we in Ava do right now –– this system of the drivers owning and operating their routes has worked for over 60 yrs.

School administrators have agreed throughout the years this was the best and efficient way to go.  They sold these routes to individuals that decided to make an investment and purchase these routes. They go by the guidelines that are set forth by the Administrators of the School and the School Board.

Some drivers have just purchased bus routes recently, and some have just purchased newer busses leaving them in a debt that they thought could be paid throughout the years as they drove these said routes.  The school has forced them out.

It was not the driver’s idea to lose their job, their livelihood and their investment.

Most of these drivers, as we all know, have driven the routes 10-plus years.

They were told all or none had to sign off on their routes or they would not get a percentage of what they paid and they had three days to do this or the window would shut.  All this was done before the board meeting held in January 2016.  And, in the December BOARD meeting it was stated that there would not be any decisions made on the routes until February’s meeting.

When drivers came back from Christmas break they were shoved into doing something they did not want to do.  They told the school at the beginning of the year they would help out on the budget crunch.  Everyone knows that feeling of not having enough to go around.

The suggestion was made by the drivers, that the school could buy the retiring drivers routes, that way it wouldn’t put such a hardship on our school that is evidently having funding issues in the transportation department.

But one thing, I can tell you after several hours, days even weeks of compiling information, I am proud the way Ava’s Transportation system has operated efficiently at the bottom dollar all these years. These cost effective numbers have surpassed several other surrounding schools.

A change like this one was not necessary, not the way they are going at it.

CHANGE is what they want and change is good so I am asking everyone to go to the polls and please vote…

We need CHANGE in the school board.  We need someone in there that wants the good of the school and the students, along with keeping hometown people with jobs; and the money that is going out from the school stays at home, not some big corporation.

PLEASE, ALL GO AND VOTE. You can make a difference.

Anita Holt