Statement of Eric Epstein, Business Manager Central Dauphin Bus Drivers Association

Posted by By at 14 May, at 13 : 44 PM Print

The Board continues to plan for a 2010-2011 budget under  the illusion that all of its assumptions will come to pass.

Historically, this Board does not have a good track record handicapping revenue, reserving Rainy Day funds or securing public support for drastic staffing and program cuts.

Some of the problems you inherited from the “old Board.” And some you perpetuated by outsourcing responsibility and decision making.

Please take the time to look at the proposals you support. You can not honestly feign surprise about outsourcing transportation or curriculum reductions when you keep giving blank checks to this administration to do what they want, when they want.

I think some of your assumptions will come to pass. But I also believe that it is folly to continue to pretend that this budget is not flawed. The proposed budget continues to assume:

  • The District’s $8.1 million short fall will magically disappear;
  • A timely 2% increase in state funding will arrive from a Governor who has presided over seven late budgets;
  • Health care costs will only increase 7.25% rather than 14.25% spike predicted by your carrier – Highmark;
  • Curriculum reductions and staffing cuts valued at $2.45 million will be implemented;
  • PPL’s proposed distribution rate increase will not impact electric bills;
  • Outsourcing of transportation will be resolved by June, and there will be no student transportation costs;
  • The $80,000 a month lease back arrangement with
  • Durham School Services will evaporate;
  • Legal fees will be stabilize; and;
  • Rate swaps will provide a fiscal safety net.

Hopefully, tonight you will make some necessary adjustments.

We are in desperate need of an exit strategy from the vanity  and pride that has pinned the District into a no-win situation.

Leadership means demonstrating the behavior you want others to replicate. Some of you have advocated running the District like a business. In the real business world, management pays a price for poor performance.

If you want to make cuts, start with the folks that drove the District off the cliff.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander. The Board should eliminate duplication at the management level, freeze wages for administrators, and switch management to a defined contribution pension plan and limited “Wellness Program.”

You recently developed and implemented RFPs for auditing and legal services. These were important and positive developments.

Likewise, you need to issue RFPs for a new Superintendent, a new Director of Curriculum, a new HR Director, a new Business Manager, and a new Director of Transportation.

Your job may be to put a camera on me.

But my job is place a mirror before you.

Do you like what you see?

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