Roshei Mosdos Slam New Transportation Director Over Recent Proposals

gus kakovis tlsAfter receiving copies of the 3 different proposals to decrease the runaway busing spending as recommended by Gus Kokavis, the new Director of Transportation, some heads of Mosdos didn’t hesitate to voice their concerns and in some cases anguish. As budget time approached Gus provided them with ideas as to keep the transportation spending in check.

Considering the amount of new children enrolled for next year and the spending being already $14,000,000, the members were looking for ways to try and stem the tide.

In a meeting yesterday with the transportation department – which included the directors of 30 private schools – things got pretty tense, some who attended the meeting tell TLS.

“I will load up your meetings with people and bring the BOE to a screeching halt”, threatened one school executive. He also stated that he would make sure all the new members don’t get re-elected, or thrown off the board.

“My heart went out for Gus”, says one meeting attendee describing the level of yelling which took place during the meeting. “He truly looked frightened”.

The proposals as recommended by Gus are as follows:

1) Change time of route restriction from 45 minutes to 60 minutes to meet New Jersey standards. This would effect only a small amount of students from 1st grade and higher and has the potential savings of $700,000.

2) Allowing multi destination routes. This will allow buses to fill empty seats on single destination routes for schools located with close proximity to each other. There are at least 7 groups of 2 or 3 schools that are common in their restrictions, within close proximity and have dozens of empty seats on almost all of their buses. This can save the tax payers another $600,000.

3) Tiered bell times. Adopting the TAS’ recommendation for a 4 tiered starting bell schedule would require less buses to accomplish the same number of routes for a net reduction of 144 buses.

The predicted savings for this recommendation would be approximately $2,400,000.000.

The decision requires the vote from the Board. TLS.

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  1. Why is it so difficult to cooperate? Why is it so difficult to give an inch? The busing costs are out of control and I don’t want to pay all that money to fund it.

  2. This is a sad day when the heads of Mosdos refuse to listen to reason, why can’t you share an empty bus to help save money. Sad sad day.

  3. If the Yeshivas are unwilling to offer any better ideas, and are also unwilling to accept any ideas to reduce costs, then they should raise taxes.

  4. You cant sahre busses because its hard enough to control behavior as it is. Kids have a natural desire to compete and rival one another. put them on the buses from different schools and you are askng for trouble. You evver have your kid come home having had a fight on the bus. Its tough to handle with the rebbeim or moras in the school there is already NO SUPERVISION. Now you want to try to correct that problem WHEN it happens with a kid from another school? Not gonna work. – keep thinking of ideas though..

  5. why fights or bulling thought they didnt do that, teach them not to , you all have to get along , so go for it, do not raise taxs for this

  6. If a school is against sharing a bus let them bus there own students at the parents expense. Why should the residents foot the bills

  7. how can they legally stop segregation between boys and girls or even worse goyim and yidden? Once we start mixing buses are kids will be going on the same bus as public school children.

  8. to: no 2
    No, but you can still combine boys.

    to: no3
    since when do our children not get along?

    to: no4
    If they don’t want to help then cut their bus service OFF, don’t raise my taxes

  9. Our taxes go up every year anyway, and per-household savings from any of these unreasonable proposals would be minute. There is very little use that we get out of our locally paid tax money other than school bus services. Personally, if I have to pay what I pay right now and not have significantly worse bus conditions than we already have, I think this is worth the price.
    Just think of the 60 minute proposition: a roundtrip of two hours on the bus for a child? Forget about hefkerus of unmonitored bus ride for a second (not that it is a non-issue). How many of you (adults) have a two hour commute to work five days a week? Do you find it easy?
    Or the multi-tiered dismissals and school starts. Imagine the logistical nightmare on the many days when transportation is actually unavailable? It will be much, much worse than even what we had this year.
    And finally — putting kids from different schools on the same bus. Boys and girls, unresolved conflicts… Unless you plan to put on several bus monitors on each bus? But wouldn’t that actually raise the bill?

  10. It is in our best interest to save $2M a year in tax levy. Besides that parents will have more money for Tuition payments.

  11. You must not be so Alte after all. I remember the days when GASP, cheder boys and bais faiga girls had to share a bus. That’s right. Boys and girls.

  12. $14 MM spending in the town of 90 K people would translate to approximately $155 per person per year. Of course not everyone pays — only the homeowners. Yet, that gives you an idea of how proportionately small the savings per capita would be if we went ahead with all these unreasonable proposals.

  13. your math is pathetic…. there are 90,000 people not homes and there are 22,000 students which translates to 636 dollars per student

  14. No 20: even though you are clearly missing the point of post no 17 (which was talking about PER CAPITA cost… I am sure you know what that is?), let’s talk about $636 per student if you so choose. How much do you think is (roughly) the current rate of PRIVATE transportation per student (ex. vans that are there for kids younger than primary)? Significantly higher than that per year. So we do get what we pay for… Are you willing to pay even less and reduce quality of transportation further?

  15. The last time I checked the fuel prices are rising very fast probably not going down anytime soon. So why would you as a parent and/or a taxpayer not look at the solutions provided by the transportation person. Better yet a school administrator who has to fund it. That is why he was brought in to try and solve a big issue for the town and the taxpayer. Everybody must be reasonable and help out on all sides. If you have little used or under utilized buses then it makes sense to add additional students and save time and money.

  16. If the schools had to take care of it, they would make sure it was fiscally responsible. We should have less cops and more busses? This makes no sense. FIND a way to make it work! Maybe monitors on the busses?

  17. A few things, first of all boys schools would start at 8:55 and girls schools would start at 9:05, this would resolve the boys and girls issue.
    Now the next issue, kids would not have to be on a bus for 2 hours a day. Think about it, if I was picked up first in the morning, and sat on the bus then I would be the first stop on the way home. So I would be on the bus for one way and hour and the return, just a few minutes.
    Next issue, controlling the bus with multiple schools; the schools need to teach their kids to behave on the bus and if a kid doesn’t the driver should give the kid a second chance, if he still doesn’t behave he can’t go on the bus for a week or so. Kids need to behave, they have no problem playing together on shabbos, why can’t they ride on a bus together.

    The REAL issus! No one wants to cut in their backyard! Folks, if want a trim budget, and we care for the town the head of the mossodos should have said the following.

    “This will be difficult for us, but we understand the need. We agree as long as this pain is shared by all, meaning we do this, then you make a cut in the public school, so our share pain gives a larger savings to the person who is currently in pain, the TAX PAYER!

  18. it specifically says “that have common restrictions so boys and girls is not a problem. So why are somw schools so upset????because it will effect their acceptance behavior if kids from a neighboring school who didnt get accepted intthos school rides the same bus…THATS WHY!!

  19. No one suggested mixed gender bussing. The status quo has got to go! (great slogan for the board of ed here). costs need to be cut and that is that. When you come up with a better way of doing it I’m sure everyone will be glad to hear it, until then “no solution” is not a “solution”. Making threats is also not a solution.

  20. I also remember when the cheder and bais faiga (then bais yaakov) students shared buses. My son sits on the bus for 50 minutes to an hour on the way home everyday, is that something that I can complain about, now that I see 45 minutes is the maximum time a child should spend on the bus.

  21. Obviously the schools care more about their own egos then the ability of the parents to be able to pay their taxes.Will the schools start allowing tuition breaks and remove the pressure from parents who are having a hard time paying?? I dont think so

  22. I am a boe member and I have a question for everyone.If bussing as we know it is untouchable,and SCHI is untouchable and the unions are unshakable, Please tell us how YOU would cut our taxes?? I am eager to hear, please post blogs with suggestions as to how you would cut these run away taxes

  23. One person yelled and threatene d and was inappropriate. Again. A lot of us didn’t agree with gus but there is a way to speak. You make it sound like he was right. One guy out of control. Period.

  24. Maybe the candidates should express their opinions on this issue. I personally would only vote for a candidate who would implement these changes.

  25. Nobody wants to cut costs in their own backyard — it is true. However, busing is one of the ONLY benefits a frum taxpayer in Lakewood gets.
    The quality of this service is already below par. Paying less for this service will lead to further cut in its quality.
    I am saying this as a current taxpayer. My children need a safe and reliable way to get to and from school. This is a service that I need and therefore should be ready to pay for. It does come out of my property tax. So yes, realistically, I cannot expect the decrease in taxes, since I have no other suggestions to make.
    Trust me, I do not like the current tax environment any more than anyone else does. But the decrease in these costs will be a drop in the bucket for each individual homeowner, while our children will suffer from the poor busing quality further and further.

  26. 60 minutes is awfully long for kids to ride a bus. If I had kids in school now, I’d rather carpool them than have them ride in a bus for so long. Staggered times sounds reasonable to me, or multiple schools in one bus. Back when the cheder was young and small, my sons were on the same bus as the girls. I wouldn’t mind that for the younger grades only, maybe primary and first grade. When I was a kid we had mixed busing and the boys used to tease the girls. So for older kids I wouldn’t recommend it.

  27. dont like suggestion number one, an hour is a very long time for a kid to sit on a noisy bumpy bus. My kids come h ome with headaches sometimes from the ride.

    number two makes sense. if they did this the route will be much shorter!! the buses will fill up faster and then go on to a school or two. this way they will not need as many buses.
    so compounded savings!
    I am not so sure if the savings per household are really as minimal as people here are saying, but I think suggestion number two will not be that painful, and will be better service cuz of the shorter route.

  28. The whole bussing system is a scam. Give $500 to $750 to each school per child and have the school take care of the whole stupid headache on there own. Boards,directors,yentas. The more a gov agency is involved,the more it costs!

  29. Lower my taxes pls
    Anyone ever learn the concept of living within your means!
    Of course more is better but it comes with a price and yes every penny counts, by saying it’s only 50 more per household is exactly how our taxes got so high,every dept in town used that …..

  30. why are there so many comments about the “so small amount” of savings per household?? How do you think the tax costs add up??? Its a little bit here and a little bit here and a ton of more “little bits!!!!!
    If we say no cut on eevrything thats so little then we will never get our taxes down!!

  31. Gus is here to improve things in the transportation dpt as he has done in previous jobs. He is very open to communication…so feel free to talk to him directly about your constructive suggestions instead of posting them on a blog.

  32. Pure cruelty!
    I am happy they are trying to cut spending but use your brains.
    Why not stop plowing snow-that would save us a few bucks!
    How about now more trash pickup??

  33. to 34 , your position on the board isnt tolower taxes, you are on the board of ed, to insure the education, transportation, and saftey of ALL schools for all lakewood children , private or public, are safe and up to standard. Bussing is a side issue. Make sure children have good teachers and have the resources to help children. Have you all lost your sight ? You are on the BOARD OF ED. YOU ARE NOT THE TOWNSHIP COMIITTEE

  34. Gus was implementing the ideas based on the superintendents proposed budget. Nothing to do with the BOE members. Now its the BOE members turn to vote if they are going to go for it.These were not the Members proposals. NJ states max is an hour.They are not proposing something out of the norm.

  35. There certainly will probably be riots, especially when taxpayers take a stand on a Friday night down town, right before dark.


    And what were you thinking before you ran for BOE?No one forced you to run.You are the guy who got up and promised to lower taxes.What were you thinking then? You sure didn’t hint anything about changing busing or not being able to shake the unions then.It was those who OPPOSED you that made that observation.

    I hope you and all other aspiring BOE candidates and the voters keep this in mind before the next election.

  37. when my child (now in college) was in a private school I had to pay for busing which was not part of the tutition is was extra, if i could not afford it I had to drive him. they should do that here

  38. You don’t have to be that “alte” to remember when gasp! The boys and girls went on the same bus. “Girls in the back boys in the front” the driver said on the first day. And off we went to school. Most of us turned out ok and the ones that didn’t had nothing to do with the bus.

  39. our main concern are the kids ! why was this brought up for first reading instead of first speaking with the schools instead of ramming it down their throats!!!

  40. To num 27 please stop you are human right. Did you forget about tiny tots there sure were yidden out there after midnight causing a scene. Your children don’t fight are you saying that they arr not really children then because all kids fight. Why don’t you pay attention to the buses as they drive around you can see your kids acting up and jus walk by a playground and tell me you don’t see fighting please get real

  41. My son was on a bus from 7:35 am until 8:40 am every morning (school didn’t start until 9:00 am) and the return trip was at the driver’s discretion. He was on the bus from 4:00 pm until 5:05 pm.

    I think the neighborhoods and schools should be combined. This wold mean shorter routes. Fewer busses in a neighborhood means less congestion on the roads, too.

  42. Al least the Roshei Mosdos still care about morals and our children and not just the dollars involved. If Money is all anyone cares about why doesn’t eveyone send their children to public school? Our board definitely thinks thats an option. It seems like the only thing they care about is the tax dollar which most of us are very happy to pay so that the people who need it can recieve the services they need. Kol Yisroel Arievim Zeh Lazeh and it is scary times when we forget that. I daven that no one who is causing so much suffering to so many families has to be made to feel it personally before they wake up.

  43. why does 1 bus have to stop every block on princeton? maybe meet in the middle for of every 3 blocks. a little walking wont hurt anybody…..

  44. Bubbie says, no more new taxes! I can’t afford it! Find ways to cut the school transportation costs. $14m is way out of control.
    I get no benefit from the busing, I don’t want to pay for it.

  45. Kids out of town are in school together with the other gender for the first few years, the boys are from the best in BMG and the girls are tops in their respective seminaries.

  46. The people who made a huge Chilul Hash-m were very very wrong but the points were a miilion percent correct, this ideas are not going to happen no matter what. period

  47. this system is so broken that the only way to fix it is to start from scratch. All suggestions are worth hearing, whether they end up being adopted or not. The bottom line is that the cost of services like busing, SCHI and other newly formed “entitlements” are unsupportable. Neighborhood based routes make a lot of sense. And if you don’t want your kid on the bus with “that other kid” from the other school, do as the Mashgiach asks his children to do. Drive your kid to school. We shouldn’t all be paying to support some people’s prejudices and intolerance, whether or not they may be justified. Boys & girls busing, which used to be the norm in Lakewood, may be over the top in today’s society. But multiple schools so the system is more efficient, and saving MILLIONS of dollars? How can we not look at it? That is a platform worth voting for. Now who amongst the eleven will have the courage to come out and say it?

  48. Get your kids under control, so that they may ride in harmony. Children learn what they live. Take responsibility and put all that energy into raising your children to be respectful, law abiding citizens.

  49. Bubbies that say that they do not get any use of the busing … Guess their grandkids’ transportation is not something they consider “use”…

    People that say girls and boys on the bus are not a problem… How about PS kids together with the private school kids?

    People that do not consider two hours of unsupervised time on the bus a big problem for a CHILD… Guess they all have a 2 hr commute to work on a public bus daily, and enjoy the ride…

    I am surprized all of you are my neigbors…

  50. on shabbos in shul where kids come from all types of scholls , play nicly and talk with each other then why cant they be on the same busses?

  51. My two high school sons have never gone on the bus this year on the way to yeshiva . Instead of trying to make a seven o’clock bus I drive them both at 7:50. We are paying for services never used.
    There are many many boys not using the services being paid for with our tax dollars.
    This should be investigated .

  52. I drive my daughter to school everyday and I pay taxes. if some private schools don’t like the idea of sharing buses then just maybe they should have their own bus. I don’t think we should be paying for private school buses anyway. this is my opinion …

  53. WONDER WHY BUSES ARE RUNNING LATE? maybe the buses should stop honking their horns and waiting for the kids who are late to come and get on the bus. This morning three seperate buses waited an average of five minutes each for students, multiply that by the number of stops the buses make and its no wonder their late.

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