In our little town, few things get politicians more excited than the word “grant.” Even though grants are nothing more than redistributed taxes, they are hailed as free money that will finally solve some dire necessity. You know, like a $1 million fountain/splash pad. Meanwhile, true needs continue to go unmet. Though I’ve regularly pointed … Continue reading $7 Million Free Money!
My usual detractors are in a tizzy over my most recent column and a discussion had during a council meeting (reported on here) regarding the school's practice of stockpiling cash while claiming poverty. I also stated, "in spite of being one of the most heavily funded systems in the state, much of your money is not making it into the … Continue reading Leftover School “FUN”d Money – The Data Doesn’t Lie
It's finally here!!!! The day YOU decide on YOUR city, state and nation's future! Election Day is tomorrow and here are some key things you should know: Polls are open from 9:00a.m.-8:00p.m. (Roane County Polls say they open at 8:00a.m.) You must vote at your assigned precinct (If you don't know where your precinct polling … Continue reading Key Things To Know About Election Day
Did you know that most of our local elections have historically been decided by less than 20% of our population? In fact, one of the biggest financial decisions ever made in our city’s history - the high school renovation project - was determined by only 11% (3,198) of our residents. A number of factors have … Continue reading 2014: The Year That Oak Ridgers Take Back Their Government
By year’s end, we’ll have had three major elections. Tomorrow, however, may prove to be the real tipping point in our community. A number of citizens have expressed an intent to take a stand in support of their positions on two issues – the school transportation cuts and the future of Clark Park. For weeks, … Continue reading You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first ~Frederick B. Wilcox
A lot of incomplete, and sometimes inaccurate, information has been disseminated to the public regarding the FY2015 city and school budgets. Such inconsistencies compound citizen frustrations as they begin to feel the impact of both bodies’ decisions. I would like to offer some clarification along with supporting resources which are hyperlinked below. First, let me … Continue reading Afterthoughts on the 2015 Budget Discussions
Ending shortly after midnight, this one might go down in the record books as the longest city council meeting ever. I should point out that it is the city manager who sets the agenda. The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items discussed and/or voted upon during the July 14, 2014 City Council … Continue reading 7/14/14 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY
My last in-depth analysis of the school budget was in 2011. It's interesting to see what has changed and what hasn't. You can read for yourself here. Dr. Borchers and Members of the Board of Education: I have reviewed your budget proposals and would like to share my thoughts for consideration in your final deliberations. I … Continue reading 2015 Oak Ridge School Budget Alternatives/Considerations
Since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Oak Ridge Schools and the Oak Ridge Police Department (ORPD) last August, a number of significant safety improvements have occurred within our schools including physical security upgrades, leadership adjustments and increased police presence. As you may know, this time last year, we had only … Continue reading March 2014 Oak Ridge Schools Safety Update
The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items discussed and/or voted upon during the March 3, 2014 City Council Regular Meeting. The complete agenda packet as well as a video of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website as part of the April 2014 Regular … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 3/3/14 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY
NOTE: The Oak Ridge City Council will hold a special non-voting meeting on February 27, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. at the Municipal Building to discuss the high school debt resolution as well as a request received by the BOE on 2/26/14 to approve an amendment to their annual budget in the amount of $1.75 million. … Continue reading The Oak Ridge High School Debt Chronicles – How a $40 Million Project Will Cost Taxpayers Over $126 Million (So Far)
For the first time in two years (and since I joined council), the Oak Ridge Board of Education (BOE) and City Council held a joint meeting. The agenda was heavy and the mayor unilaterally established a time limit of 1 ½ hours at the very beginning. The meeting room was packed and a crowd formed … Continue reading Report on the 2/21/14 Joint Meeting Between Oak Ridge City Council and the BOE
There is a tremendous amount of activity occurring in the very near future that will effect all Oak Ridgers in many ways. First, council and the BOE will hold a special called meeting this Friday at noon. The agenda is found here and was just released a few hours ago. The original purpose of this … Continue reading Upcoming City and School Meetings/Hot Topics
There’s a lot of community discussion going on in anticipation of a possible major change to our school system calendars. (Read the Assistant Superintendent’s op-ed piece on it here.) Currently, Oak Ridge Schools operate, for the most part, on two different schedules. The school administration is proposing that ALL schools go to the same schedule. … Continue reading Traditional vs Balanced School Schedules Part 2
An item on the next BOE meeting agenda (viewable here) for this Monday night’s meeting includes a discussion about changing from a hybrid school calendar to a streamlined calendar where all of our schools operate on the same schedule. The options proposed (see 2015 2016 calendar options) include either having all schools on the same … Continue reading Revisiting Oak Ridge School Calendars – Traditional v. Balanced Schedule
I am so excited to share with you this update on bullying & violence prevention efforts made by my friend Valerie Hughes! Valerie has worked tirelessly for the last few years to establish a Not In Our Town (NIOT) chapter here in Oak Ridge. I am happy to report that her efforts are paying off … Continue reading Oak Ridge in the National Spotlight!
Happy New Year! Here is your update for January. I’ve pasted a few noteworthy items below. Results of the December meeting can be found here. Additionally, here are a couple of quick notes of interest: This month, the third of four approved water/sewer rate increases will take effect. I am convinced that these excessive increases could … Continue reading January City Council Update/School Security Update
The Oak Ridge Observer is currently running a series on elected officials in Oak Ridge. The following were my responses to their questions which ran in last week's edition. What do you see as a driving force in propelling Oak Ridge to prosperity in the next ten or so years? The health of the … Continue reading The Observer’s Get To Know Your Leaders Q&A
Hello and Happy Fall! Here is your update for October. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have anytime! The results of the 9/17/2013 special called meeting on the school’s demand for $250K by Oct 1st are found here and my complete analysis with the ramifications of council’s … Continue reading October Oak Ridge City Council Update
In order to clear up some of the confusion surrounding the recent school system fiasco, I’d like to expound upon my characterization of it as a “manufactured crisis.” I will first provide a brief summary and then, for those who are interested in the details, I will elaborate. I will conclude with my suggestion for … Continue reading Manufactured Crisis: A Joint Venture After All?
The following represents an unofficial account of the single item discussed and voted upon during the September 17, 2013 City Council Special Called Meeting. The complete agenda packet as well as a video of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website, most likely, as part of the … Continue reading THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS – 9/17/13 OAK RIDGE CITY COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY – MOE/High School Debt
***Post updated with MOU and Press Release Attached*** Click on the following: MOU Press Release Final SRO MOU Final 8 7 13 SignedCopy Excellent news! The School Resource Officer agreement (aka MOU) between the ORPD and the OR Schools has been signed! Thanks to all who made it happen, especially Chief Akagi and Superintendent Borchers! … Continue reading The School Resource Officer MOU Has Been Signed!
The following was sent to all of city council and the board of education: All - I recently attended the anti-bullying summit hosted by the Safety Education Unit of the Knoxville Police Department. Their goal was to educate and encourage ways to strategize action plans to reduce bullying behavior. It was attended by over 700 … Continue reading Report on the KPD Anti-Bullying Summit/Update on School Safety Efforts
Now that a few days have passed since ….I’m hoping it is safe for me to share a few thoughts. First and foremost I want to thank all of you who have reached out and expressed your support and concern. I am both amazed and humbled by the enormous love shown to me by family, … Continue reading Positive Changes in our Schools ARE Coming
What an amazing day! Radio interview with Hallerin Hilton Hill went well this morning. Spurred wate.com and wbir.com to contact me for interviews. Those should air sometime tonight. The Beehan/ Fillauer/Reddick press conference was highly enlightening and spurred further interviews by the press. Can't wait to see how things go at our council meeting tonight! … Continue reading Not in Our Schools Update
If you are one of the parents, school staff or students, past or present, that has experienced the problems I’ve referenced here, please contact Russel Langley at email@example.com From: BRUCE BORCHERS [firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Wednesday, July 03, 2013 11:39 AM To: Baughn, Trina Cc: City Council; Akagi James T.; Angi Agle; Dan DiGregorio ; Bob Eby; Jenny Richter; Keys Fillauer Subject: Invitation … Continue reading My Communications with Dr. Borchers RE: School Safety Issues
SRO Letter (click to view)
In addition to running my letter, the Oak Ridge Observer ran the following: http://oakridgedailyhoot.com/2013/07/03/schools-impeding-orpd-city-says/ “Everything they do is useless and possibly damaging to the prosecution in a criminal case,” Akagi said regarding evidence and statements. Also Watson has not had time to respond to the question why no ORS officials were arrested for obstruction of … Continue reading Oak Ridge Observer Article on ORS Police Interference
I will post the referenced materials (the memo from the chief of police, the FERPA communications and documentation on the ousted principal) shortly. If you are one of the parents, school staff or students, past or present, that has experienced the problems I've referenced, please contact Russel Langley at email@example.com. ---------------------------------------------------- Dr. Borchers, Shortly after the … Continue reading Open Letter to Dr. Bruce Borchers, Oak Ridge Superintendent: Protect Our Students and Teachers
Hello! I hope you are all having a wonderful summer! Here are the highlights of current council activities: Monday night we will hold our regular monthly meeting. The complete agenda can be found here. The significant items are as follows and you can see my questions/concerns to our city manager in the email pasted at … Continue reading July 8th Agenda/Updates —— Mall/Land Bank/Sign Ordinance
From: Trina Baughn Sent: Monday, May 27, 2013 8:51 PM To: Ms. Agle; Ms. Richter; Mr. DiGrigorio; Mr. Fillauer; Mr. Eby; Robert J. Smallridge Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; Watson, Mark; Krushenski, Ken Subject: "High Performing School District" Request to Defer Oak Ridge Board of Education: Your agenda for your meeting scheduled for 5:30 tomorrow night contains an … Continue reading Implications of being a “High Performing School District?”
As is to be expected during an election, there are false rumors circulating about my candidacy. Given the nature of these rumors and the unfounded fear that some have expressed, I would like to set the record straight. First, I support our schools. So much so that I have fought time and time again to … Continue reading Quashing Rumors
***Updated Post with BOE responses*** From: Trina Baughn Sent: Friday, September 14, 2012 4:09 PM To: 'Mr. DiGrigorio'; 'Mr. Eby'; 'Mr. Fillauer'; 'Ms. Agle'; 'Ms. Richter' Subject: Oak Ridge Schools Policy Change to Ban Televised Media - Meeting Minutes/Vote/Information Request Members of the Oak Ridge Board of Education: I was contacted by a concerned citizen … Continue reading A Question of Transparency
6/22/2012 Email to Oak Ridge City Council Council – Please see this agenda for the Oak Ridge Schools BOE meeting scheduled for Monday night. In it, you will find on page 36 an FY13 budget amendment to adjust for council’s decision last month. Of greater concern to me, are two other items. First, on page … Continue reading Do YOU Own a $38,832 Car? Parting Gift for the Super?
A number of people have sought my reaction to the city council’s decision this week. For those who have not heard, they voted to pay the school’s obligation on the high school debt by way of a deduction in their annual contribution and they essentially welcomed the state to intercede and look at our financials … Continue reading Because We Cannot Afford More of the Same
If you haven’t heard about this story, the Willow Brook principal was removed from her position last week without explanation. Dr. Bailey has clearly stated that she will not be fired but moved into a teaching position. In his letter (provided here), he has barred her from stepping foot on WillowBrook property (though apparently she … Continue reading You Have a Right To Know
It's been over a week since I originally wrote this and given everything that has occurred since, it seemed inconsequential and I didn't want to bother posting here. But then I think back to the original impetus behind this particular piece and I realize how the current scandal (the principal's mysterious dismissal at WillowBrook 3 … Continue reading Sausage or Haggis?
The following information supports my claims from my column this week. I will publish the column in its entirety here on Friday, but here is a summary: Oak Ridge city government will use $10 million more of your money for the high school project to cover what the schools are withholding while they (the city) … Continue reading Capital Spending Sources – Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmm?
BOE Treasurer Angi Agle responds to my challenge of the BOE's hijacking of the high school debt payment here. In her column and in her communications with council, she has called into question both my facts and my character all while perpetuating absolute fabrications about unwritten agreements and handshake deals. The BOE fully expected … Continue reading I Call B.S.
NOTE: The email from the city manager as well as his proposed resolution that I referenced are included at the end of this post. A majority of council have indicated that they will not approve the resolution that I referenced in the following column/post. This begs the question: Now what? Council should absolutely stand their … Continue reading More of the Same – Column Update, Contact Info and City Manager Letter & Resolution
Tonight for a third time, City Council was faced with a resolution to approve a $900K increase to the schools' 2012 budget. The administration appropriated this additional money PRIOR to receiving legal approval by council, some 9 months after council first declined a similar request. Though the mayor closed public comment on the agenda item, … Continue reading Strike 3!
As this article describes, last week I challenged the school administration to explain their need to amend/increase their budget by almost a million dollars nearly 9 months after council declined their total budget request by about that same amount. Their explanation remains the same....it is an accounting entry correction. The letter below along with all … Continue reading A Matter of Trust
Last week, the Oak Ridge Board of Education (BOE) chairman, Keys Fillauer, responded to one of my columns that asked of our schools, “Are we getting what we’re paying for?” Rather than address our problems, Mr. Fillauer lamented, “Why would I want to move to a place where all I read is negativity?” Since we … Continue reading Post-Haste
I originally wrote this piece to address the BOE chair's column point-by-point. After I'd completed it, I was less than satisfied. I think it's because I'm sick of this never ending game that the BOE continues to play. I've tried in earnest for years to work with each and every member of this board and … Continue reading Here’s Lookin’ at You, Keys
Every year here in the ‘Ridge, we play a little game I like to call, “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money!” Around late spring/early summer, the school administration and BOE round up some folks with pitchforks and torches and march down to city hall. They demand that the city give them mo’ money than the … Continue reading $937,091? Pfffft. No Big Whoop.
If you weren’t able to make last night’s 2 hour meeting, here’s what you missed: City : Schools, you need to pay your part of the high school mortgage Schools: Um, yeah we know. About that. Let’s have another meeting sometime and work that out. Make that a couple more meetings. City: O.K. Cause like … Continue reading Summary of Last Night’s Work Session
Oak Ridgers, COME ON DOWN! You’re the next contestant on the Price Is Right! Today’s item up for bid is the Woodland Elementary School emergency repair project. According to today’s edition of the Oak Ridge Observer, there are 3 possible price tags: $500,000, $689,282 or $3,500,000. Simply choose the shell under which the correct amount … Continue reading The Actual Retail Price Is……
The front page of the January 25th edition of the Oak Ridger presented an interesting juxtaposition of news. One article informs the public that the Oak Ridge School Board and Administration intends on pushing the city to fund an “emergency capital repair project” in the amount of nearly $700K to fund structural repairs at Woodland … Continue reading Step 1: Get Mad
The Oak Ridge Observer ran an editorial last week entitled “Year-Round School, Take 2.” In short, the newspaper felt they'd jumped the gun in their earlier criticism of the Oak Ridge Schools administration and staff for not being more aggressive in providing the BOE with information on a potential year round school calendar for the … Continue reading Data? We Don’t Need No Stinking Data.
Tom Bailey and John Smith are quoted as saying that they knew that the sales tax was still dedicated to the ORHS construction until that construction is paid off. I will have to scan the complete article in, but until then, here's the snippet from that article: Schools won't lose money? June 5, 2006 •• 350 words •• ID: … Continue reading Bailey indicated that the diverted revenue would still go to the high school debt service:
The following is directed to the Oak Ridge Schools Administration and Board of Education and shared with the citizens of Oak Ridge: In 2004, Oak Ridgers residing in Anderson County generously voted to increase the local sales tax rate from 2.25% to 2.75% in order to fund the high school project. The verbiage of that … Continue reading High School Debt Payment 6 Months Past Due
Over 7 months ago, the Oak Ridge BOE decided to look into different scheduling options as a means to reduce operational costs. They tasked the administration to look into alternatives to the current mixed structure (2 of our 8 schools operate year round while the other 6 operate on a traditional schedule.) The administration did … Continue reading Year Round vs Traditional School Schedule
For the Oak Ridge schools' 2012 budget, the Board of Education is requesting a 7.32 percent increase in funds from the city, $1,059,171 more than last year.However, it is critical that we maintain, not increase, funding, given the serious state of our economy, our extremely high tax rate, and the overwhelming level of debt we … Continue reading Recommended Adjustments to the OR BOE 2012 Budget
Taken from the Oak Ridge Observer website: When: Thu, August 12, 1am – 2amWhere: City Central Services Complex - 100 Woodbury RoadDescription: The City Public Works Department will conduct a public meeting for citizens to review and provide comments on preliminary plans for a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program for Robertsville Middle School. In 2008, the City … Continue reading Robertsville Middle School Safe Routes to School Project Meeting
So, here’s what happened. For whatever reason, the school administration has been hell bent on cutting the a.m. transportation to the preschool (our head start program that services the most disadvantaged children in our community). When they tried it last year, as I discussed here, they claimed that it was to increase instructional time. The … Continue reading Screwing Over the Poor and Disabled Kids
It's that time of year again. I submitted this prior to last night's public forum and was very encouraged to hear some board members took my suggestions, along with others, seriously. Public interest and feedback appears to be at an all time high. That's a very good thing.Oak Ridge School Board Members:With regards to the … Continue reading Proposal for ORSB FY2011 Budget Adjustments
While the wailing and gnashing of teeth continues over the RLCs, there are some people focused on moving forward with the real work of protecting pedestrians and bicyclists alike.According to this article, members of the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee held a forum this week to discuss "ensuring safety for all who want to bicycle or … Continue reading Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee Takes Action
A few years ago, a child was struck by a motorist while crossing the turnpike from Oak Ridge High School. Last year, I monitored that area and observed numerous motorist violations that put students and adults in danger. Frequently, vehicles would come within inches of hitting students. During my 2 month stint in 2007 as … Continue reading Observer LTE on RLCs
From: Trina BaughnSent: Monday, September 07, 2009 5:01 PMTo: 'Chief Beams'Cc: ORSM; City CouncilSubject: JMS Traffic Concerns Chief Beams, I’ve been in touch with Terri, the JMS crossing guard. She has informed me that the pedestrian traffic has drastically increased this year (from 8 am/pm crossers last year to over 36 this year) and that … Continue reading JMS Traffic Concerns
As expected, the ORSB voted to extend Dr. Bailey’s contract this evening. We are now stuck with him through 2013. Before bestowing more glowing praise on the super and after thoroughly patting themselves on the back, the board had the administration provide a partial response to my letter. Unfortunately, as Mr. Green pretty much stated, … Continue reading Digging Deep into the Data
On July 14th at 7:00p.m., the OR School Board will vote on extending the superintendent’s contract length and on a possible salary increase. Dr. Bailey was hired in 2002 and his current contract runs through 2012. According to the terms of his contract, the board is under no obligation to act on his contract until … Continue reading Your Attendance and Attention, Please
Received this from a PTA newsletter - Good informationWith summer's warmer weather and sunshine, your family is finding reasons to leave the house that was a cozy retreat all winter. As your family spends more time outside, take some time to remind your kids of ways to stay safer away from home: * Teach your … Continue reading Stay Safer on Summer Adventures
Early Voting ends Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ Emory Valley Center (for both Roane and Anderson County) 10 am to 6 pm Polling Hours for Election Day, June 2, will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ******************* Having been actively involved in school issues for the last few years, I’ve listened to and studied this … Continue reading Get Out And Vote!
And they're off!!!! The local election is now in full swing and I am excited about what is to come. Last night, the school board candidates participated in a highly informative forum that Netmom kindly summarized here.This town is prime for change. But like anything worth having, we'll have to work for it. Essential to … Continue reading How Bad Do You Want It?
On April 20th, the ORSB passed their FY2010 budget. Of major note, they eliminated the originally proposed cuts of 6 TAs and transportation for a.m. preschool riders and the alternative school students. We actively pursued these reinstatements as discussed here and here and here. These were major victories for our children and our schools, but … Continue reading A Not-so-Quick Update on Proposed Transportation Cuts
There are many issues at stake in this year's school budget. For the sake of time, I want to bring one, in particular, to the forefront. That is the slated cuts of both the a.m. preschool bus routes and the a.m. and p.m. alternative school bus routes. I will attempt to provide more informatin in … Continue reading Student Safety at Risk Once Again
I submitted the following to the ORSB this evening. The formatting isn't as pretty as it should be, but it's been a very long day, so this is what you get.------------------------------------RECOMMENDATIONS Propose that all staff be afforded a 1% pay raise in lieu of a step increase and that the school system forego the $135,000 … Continue reading Proposal for the ORSB FY2010 Budget Adjustments
FYI. I'll post updates as responses are received. From: Trina baughn Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 14:45Subject: Crossing Guard Status @ RMSChief Beams,I have not seen a crossing guard at the Robertsville/Illinois intersection for weeks now. This intersection remains heavily trafficked by both high school and middle school students from what I understand. Can you … Continue reading Robertsville/Illinois Crossing Guard Status
This is a John Walsh sponsored event that will take place on March 28th from 9:30-2:00 at Oak Ridge Chrysler Dodge Jeep Superstore @ 1005 OR Turnpike. Contact Howard Elliot at 482-7670 for further information. I would strongly advise doing so before going as there is no mention of appointments on the flyer I received.According … Continue reading Free DNA LifePrint Child Safety Event in Oak Ridge March 28th
As concerned parents, we would like to clear up some confusion regarding the circumstances at the crosswalk between the high school and the civic center. The ORPD recently implemented changes in an attempt to address real and quantifiable dangers at this location. Consider the fact that 50-75 students use this crosswalk daily and that this … Continue reading ORHS/Civic Center Action Items
Following is the link to the article in "The Oak Ridger" about the vest donation. http://www.oakridger.com/localnews/x185286155/A-matter-of-safetyWe enjoyed meeting with City Officials: Mayor Pro-temp Jane Miller, Chief Beams and Deputy Chief Massengill and the Crossing Guards who came also. We would like to express our continued gratitude to all of the Crossing Guards who serve our … Continue reading "A Matter of Safety"
Along with Mayor Pro Tem Miller, Chief Beams, and CPT Massengill, we presented new, LED lit vests to some of our crossing guards this afternoon. Thanks to all who contributed funds and special thanks to Michelle Doka for acquiring the vests and coordinating today's presentation!*****Also note that a detailed summary of potential solutions and progress … Continue reading New Vests Provided to Crossing Guards
Several different factors have contributed to the many "near misses" that have taken place at the High School Crosswalk. One of them is a lack of visibility particularly for the Crossing Guard who is stationed there. There are several students who participate in the swimming program and cross over to the High School from the … Continue reading Solutions to Improve Visibility Issues
After reading this, it's obvious that the need for increased awareness and action is still ever-present and very much attainable. More voices, please. Contact your public officials and share your concerns.Email sent today to City Council, City Manager, Chief of Police, OR School Board,etc.Hello and Happy New Year! I understand that there was yet another … Continue reading Unresolved Issues
The Oak Ridger ran this article today about Robertsville Middle School's participation in International Walk to School Month. According to the article, "Walk This Way is a national program that highlights the benefits of walking to school while encouraging children and parents to be safe pedestrians." RMS principal Mike Baker and others took students out … Continue reading Walk This Way
May you continue to touch those who knew you and those whose lives you changed forever.
Mr. O'Connor's response to my questions (see previous post)came in within an hour of my email. We are truly blessed to have such responsive local government. Thanks Jim!1. There is no funding for signal light so we will continue to use a Police Officer during the appropriate times. 2. I am not aware of any … Continue reading City Response to Today’s Email
Sent today to the city council, police chief, city manager and copied to the school board:Hello! I wanted to follow up on some of the matters we’d discussed at the last city council meeting. I’ll keep it brief:1. Regarding the police officer assigned to direct traffic – is this a permanent measure or will installing … Continue reading Additional Follow Up with the City
Many thanks to all who contributed donations in support of our crossing guards! All were delivered today and were very warmly received. We have some extraordinary people working to keep our kids safe and your generosity means a lot to not only them, but many others as well. Throughout the school year, please continue to … Continue reading Crossing Guard Appreciation
At last night’s city council meeting, the city manager and council provided an update on the issues that citizens have voiced concerns about regarding the ORHS/Civic Center crosswalk. Mr. O’Connor explained that he met this past Friday with the ORSB chair, Mr. Smith and with the ORS Superintendent, Dr. Bailey. Corrective actions are as follows:1. … Continue reading City Council Response to HS/Civic Center Crossing Issues
The following was submitted to city council, the chief of police and the city manager on 10-16-08:I appreciate that Chief Beams has responded to citizen concerns over the crosswalk at the high school and civic center. I understand that the time has been lengthened for the school zone and that the crossing guard’s hours have … Continue reading ORHS/Civic Center Crossing Follow Up
The following was submitted to the city and copied to the school board on 10-6-08 and ran in the Oak Ridger (along with another letter) on 10-15-08.All: In an effort to heighten public awareness, the following has also been submitted to the Oak Ridger. Though addressed directly to the city, any and all feedback is … Continue reading LTEs/Gov’t Correspondence RE: High School/Civic Center Crossing
It is time again to let our Crossing Guards know how much we appreciate their services to Oak Ridge students. We are currently collecting baked goods, hand warmers, hot drink packets, lip balm, etc… to give to them. We are also having the students who use their services sign Thank you cards to give to … Continue reading Key to Retention – Let Them Know They Are Appreciated!
...is next week. This Oak Ridger article contains some good reminders about child safety; I would add that it is best to continue having children ride in the back seat long after they’ve outgrown booster seats. It was the law in Germany and we continued the practice upon our return to the states. The additional … Continue reading National Child Passenger Safety Week
The city is moving forward with implementing red light cameras, but people are still wailing at the supposed injustice of it all. Given all the media coverage of this one little issue, one might think that our very livelihood hung in the balance.For months, the counter-arguments flew. At first, it was all about the fear … Continue reading Yellow Means Slow Down (and it always has)
The 2008/2009 school year in Oak Ridge fully resumes tomorrow and, thankfully, our children will have safer travels to and from school than they did just a year ago. Equal access to transportation for all students, crossing guards, better street markings and signage, and more attentive motorists will undoubtedly result in the risk reduction for … Continue reading School Resumes City-Wide Tomorrow
Although the discussion on crossing guards during the last city council meeting did not occur as I'd announced, I have some news on that front. According to the city manager, the city has decided to place 2 crossing guards at WillowBrook starting next week. The decision of where to place others has yet to be … Continue reading Crossing Guards for 08/09 School Year
I’ve heard from one of our long-time drivers some great things about First Student’s safety practices. The report is from this driver having gone through some of their training already and it sounds as though they greatly exceed our school system's previous standards. One example was that 2 traffic violations on one’s personal record is … Continue reading Positive Report
I've already stated my opinions in various places on Red Light Cameras including here. Maybe, though, this would prove to be a better alternative. Thanks to the anonymous sender of this hilarious clip!
The following was sent to the OR City Council, manager, chief of police, the OR School Board and all OR school principals:Chief Beams,At least 3 different times this week I’ve noticed that crossing guards were absent (during the appropriate times) at the ORTP/Civic Center and Willow Brook posts. Can you tell me if we still … Continue reading The Case for Crossing Guard Retention
BUSESWe’ve seen some major progress these past few weeks, not the least of which is the ORSB’s vote to fully reinstate transportation via a contractor. A lot of hard work by many individual citizens as well as school officials went into this decision and the end result means that all of our children will have … Continue reading MAJOR PROGRESS!!!!!
On April 10th, with little more than 45 minutes worth of discussion, the Oak Ridge School Board voted unanimously to adopt Dr. Bailey’s proposed budget. Contained within this proposal is a huge change to transportation that will hopefully provide equal access to all children for bus service. I emphasize hopefully because, at this point, it … Continue reading Transportation Update
It’s not too late to voice your support to your representatives! HB2653 by Hackworth (SB3077 by McNally) passed the house unanimously and has moved to the Senate. As of today, the status listed is: Placed on S. Trans Comm. cal. for 04/02/2008The remaining 4 bills (discussed in further detail here), are seeing some action tomorrow. … Continue reading Update on Proposed Legislation
Government in action - Rep. Hackworth sent me the following, which I believe will be published in this week's local paper. I have a more personal stake in seeing this one through given that it has a direct tie to what led to the end of my crossing guard daysJust as with the bill to … Continue reading House Bill 2653 Goes to Floor This Week
Some significant accomplishments have been made thus far, but there is still much to be done. One group of Robertsville parents is working towards hiring an independent engineer to conduct a safety survey of the Illinois Ave/OR Turnpike area to fully identify all potential dangers and to recommend improvement measures. They are hoping to raise … Continue reading Safety for Oak Ridge Students (SOS) Fund