From: Charlie Mensinger <email@example.com>
To: Victor De La Cruz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Christopher Beach <CBeach@actransit.org>; "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>; "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Charlie Mensinger <email@example.com>; Dave Marken <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 10:49 AM
Subject: Re: Inconsistent Contracted Bus Services for NJHS
As I communicated earlier, I believe AC Transit has been very responsive and open in their problem resolution to me and in turn, I have shared those responses with you.
While ACTD has been responsive and communicating with you (from a District perspective) I am the concerned parent, I am being asked by "parents" AND students what ACTD is doing. Now I know that sounds like I am looking for credit or to put myself up there, I'm not, hell, I'd rather never to have said anything in the first place and should have just driven my child to and from school. The point is, Why aren't the concerned parents being addressed by ACT; are WE not the customer and THEY the provider?
We all share the frustrations in what happened and, I believe, that the safety of our students has been the primary consideration. I can't answer why AC Transit does not respond to you directly; however, I have had correspondence from their James Pachan COO, Chris Beach Director of Transportation, and Jeff Davis Area 5 Representative.
I challenge your concern for safety and sharing of frustration; if genuine, I wouldn't be hearing about kids bullying other kids on those "NON- District Buses". I wouldn't be hearing about kids on those same buses smoking Marijuana, I wouldn't be hearing about kids on those buses smoking tobacco, or cursing more than me. If you cared, truly cared, there would be, at the very least a "public" plan on how to address and lower the incidences of those occurrences. And I'm not talking about a bull-crap plan to plainly put an officer on the buses to deter bad behavior; everybody knows that people will be on their best behavior when there is authority in the midst, unless they're pathological. I'm talking about some undercover and arrests, that's how you stop bad behavior; consequences. Of course, that could be better managed by having district buses to begin with or contracting for specific service.
As you know, I asked for a update Friday and received the following email from Mr. Pachan over the weekend:
We conducted an extensive investigation to get to the root cause of the problems. A detailed explanation of the problems identified were provided in the e-mail from Christopher Beach, Director of Transportation. As noted in Mr. Beach’s e-mail, there were two different types of issues that occurred that resulted in the lapse in service. I met with the Scheduling and Transportation staff earlier this past week on this issue, and I directed staff to implement new checks and balances into the process to prevent this from occurring in the future, as follows:· First incident – this incident was the result of a Scheduler making an error on the date for the special school dismissal, which resulted in the division sending out the bus at the wrong time. To avoid this in the future, the Schedulers will be required to send out a listing of the special schedules to the schools for review prior to implementation. In the past, there was no review process, and the lack of checks and balances resulted in this error occurring.This seems very open ended. Here's what I believe will happen. The scheduler will comply and send the schedule for verification. On occasion, it will be confirmed and replied to. On the occasions that it is NOT confirmed or replied to, there will be no follow up because, well, and I know how many government employees work because of guaranteed salaries, they'll simply say, "Hey, I did my part, I sent it, it's not my fault they didn't respond". There is NO collaborative process in place to ensure the checks and balances between the district and AC transit.· Second incident – this incident was the result of division staff not properly inputting the updated notice from the Schedulers. To prevent this in the future, the division will now be required to report back to the Schedulers that the system has been updated with the special school schedules. This new check and balance should prevent this from occurring.Again, pretty talk. But where's the oversight? Who's on a performance review since this is NOT the first time this has occurred; it's been going on for years according to several of the comments and people I've spoken with. Aside from the fact that the presumed corrective action for the second incident is dependent on the first which as I mentioned if it collapses, then obviously the second part shall as well.The Scheduling department is in the process of developing the new Standard Operating Procedures that will include these new checks and balances that should prevent this from occurring in the future at all schools.Which office or who, from a district perspective, will collaborate with AC to ensure their SOP properly addresses the issues negatively affecting Newark School district?Please let me know if you have any questions.James PachanChief Operating Officer
Again, I cannot speak to why AC Transit does not communicate directly; however, I have received about ten emails and three phone calls in the week or so that I have been involved. I believe that, at this point, AC Transit has addressed the issue and we can only wait to see if it is implemented they way they planned.
Again, I share your frustration as I too have children in the district. What else do you wish to see?
I do not believe that you share the level of frustration as I do. What else would I like to see; how about the district being proactive. With an increase of violent behavior in our community by armed criminals and the fever for disarming of law abiding citizens everywhere, I for one, see the violence increasing NOT decreasing, therefore, safety and hyper-vigilance is paramount in my mind. Maybe because of my experience you may find me a bit paranoid, but I would rather be in front on safety than attending a child's funeral. Now, you are either now taking the lead on this, as I noticed at the board meeting everyone thanking you for bringing this to light, or you're not. But if you are, I expect tenacity, integrity, and action in a proactive manner. When I first brought this all up, I apologized to everyone about my directness, I an not a politician nor have aspirations of ever being one, nevertheless I'll apologize again if I offend anyone, that is NOT my intent; my mission and intent is action.