Board hires former bus manager as consultant - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Board hires former bus manager as consultant

Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Michelle Nunn tours Valdosta food bank

    Michelle Nunn tours Valdosta food bank

    Thursday, April 17 2014 4:42 PM EDT2014-04-17 20:42:47 GMT
    U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn now has a better idea of just how important food banks are to South Georgia. Nunn requested a tour of the Second Harvest food bank in Valdosta. It's part of herMore >>
    Nunn requested a tour of the Second Harvest food bank in Valdosta. It's part of her initiative to highlight organizations across Georgia that are giving back to their community.More >>
  • Congressman Scott visits Valdosta to talk about Moody

    Congressman Scott visits Valdosta to talk about Moody

    Thursday, April 17 2014 4:36 PM EDT2014-04-17 20:36:25 GMT
    Congressman Austin Scott toured Moody Air Force base Thursday and said he hopes to bring more missions and more planes to the base. "We will be working to bring additional smaller missions to MoodyMore >>
    Congressman Austin Scott Spent time at Moody Air Force Base Thursday and explained his vision for the future of Moody to members of the South Georgia Military Affairs Committee.More >>
  • Albany prepares for possible flooding

    Albany prepares for possible flooding

    Thursday, April 17 2014 4:34 PM EDT2014-04-17 20:34:52 GMT
    There are some areas in Dougherty County still flooded from heavy rain over the last week and a half, and we've got more torrential rain on the way Friday.   Dougherty County Public Works continueMore >>
    There are some areas in Dougherty County still flooded from heavy rain over the last week and a half, and we've got more torrential rain on the way Friday.  Public Works continues to run their pump at station eleven along Nicholas Drive to lower standing water threatening nearby homes.More >>

January 14, 2008

Albany - - Dougherty County School bus drivers say they're still not satisfied with how the bus system is ran. Last year, several bus drivers walked out for a day. Since then, the school board has met with them to try to work out some of the concerns. Monday, the board made a decision that some fear will only make things worse.

This is Mary Richardson's 25th year as a bus driver.

"Right now its worse than I've ever seen it."

So she's serving as the President of the local drivers union to make changes. This month, the union wrote a letter to school superintendent Sally Whatley addressing a number of concerns, including poor management and bus safety.

Last month, one driver says he was attacked trying to break up a fight.

"He called for help. He really wanted security to come and there were a lot of questions asked. Then they told him to go and see if he could separate it," Richardson explains.

He did and the next day found out he broke his hand as a result. Workers comp has been denied and the board hasn't decided whether to help with the emergency room bill.

"One reason it's not running smoothly is because of leadership," Richardson says about the bus system.

Monday, the board voted four to three to hire Rick Wheeler to serve as a consultant. But members James Bush, Willie Weaver and Dave Maschke voted against it. Wheeler just retired as Fleet Manager with the Bus system back in November.

"Give a grace period. Maybe six months or so," Bush says.

Maschke says many of the problems with the bus system didn't happen overnight and Bush adds a lack of good leadership in the past has resulted in the current situation.

"I could not in good conscious vote for someone who is part of the problem," he said.

Now drivers like Richardson feel nothing will change at all.

"Pretty bad shape right now," she says. 

And many bus drivers who showed up approached Board Chair Mike Wyndom pleading to make more beneficial changes. 

"It's all about favoritism," one driver said.

The Board has a transportation committee charged with addressing the drivers' concerns. The three members of that committee voted against hiring the consultant but were outnumbered. They say they'll continue to try to help the drivers.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=busdrivers/bs

Powered by WorldNow