Mokena SD 159 cuts transportation director’s job
BY GINGER BRASHINGER Correspondent September 7, 2012 3:48PM
Updated: October 10, 2012 6:19AM
Mokena School District 159 has voted to change the job of transportation director from full-time to part-time for the current school year .
Board members Patrick Markham, Mark Franceschini, Mike Ford and Joe Spalla voted last week to “honorably dismiss” Homer Glen resident Ron Kaczorowski, 66, from the full-time post.
Kathy Moore and Scott Peters voted against the move. New board member Jeff Regan abstained.
Markham, who serves as board president, said “an analysis of the job duties” showed Kaczorowski was being paid about the same about as the Lincoln-Way District 210 director of transportation, Rich Wilkey, even though Kaczorowski was supervising only 10 bus routes.
“We felt we could increase the level of responsibility and participation of our (bus) drivers,” Markham said. “We have to be as prudent as possible with our tax dollars.”
Supt. Steve Stein said it was actually 10 buses at each of the district’s three schools.
“You could consider it ten routes per building,” Stein said.
Kaczorowski’s salary is listed on the district’s budget as $52,447 for this year. He had 14 years experience as director.
Wilkey is paid $85,100 to oversee 355 routes for District 210 and has a transportation coordinator and three transportation assistants under him.
Markham said the maintenance crew and new business manager John Troy can take on some of the Kaczorowski’s transportation responsibilities.
Peters questioned cutting the position at a time when the district was not only hiring a new business manager but short on bus drivers. He noted that Kaczorowski was filling in when there weren’t enough drivers available.
“I think this is poor timing,” Peters said. “I think we’re doing ourselves a disservice and it’s going to come back to bite us.”
Kaczorowski said he did not attend the board meeting because he “felt it would be awkward.”
He said he will not take the district’s part-time transportation position and does plan to find work elsewhere.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here,” he said. “I’m just disappointed that it turned out the way it did.”