CobbWEB: MDJonline readers sound off on bus management, parking
January 14, 2010 01:00 AM | 1866 views | 6 6 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
EDITOR'S NOTE: Below is a selection of responses shared by readers of MDJOnline.com in reaction to recent MDJ stories ...

Cobb School District transportation chief Rick Grisham responded to a Dec. 17 piece by MDJ columnist Laura Armstrong that raised concerns about the treatment of bus drivers by management and the condition buses are being kept in.

WATCHFUL wrote: I saw a letter sent from Michelle Luckett the executive assistant to the superintendent of cobb county schools to (MDJ columnist) Ms. Laura Armstrong demanding retractions to some of Mrs. Armstrong's statements in her column. One of which being the statement about Mr. Grisham getting bonuses and pay raises. Ms Luckett states Mr Grisham never recieved bonuses and actually took a $4,880 pay cut, but when you go to the state auditor Russell Hintons web site, the salary shown does show an $8,200 raise for 2009 from what he made in 2008, these figures by law are shown and up to date supposedly. So who is misrepresenting the truth? Ms. Armstrong, Ms. Luckett, Mr. Grisham, or the state auditors department? Come on Cobb County, alot of falsehoods coming out! Whats next????

The City of Marietta will not be leasing any parking spaces in the new deck the county is building just off Marietta Square.

Dissing Ability wrote: What on earth makes you think visitors to the Square do not use the current parking deck? Do you monitor it? Do you watch where people go after they park?

The first two floors are designated "public parking" - Cobb County employees are forbidden to park in those spaces and those spots don't exactly sit empty. Visitors are most certainly using them. As a Cobb County employee who began work in Cobb in 2004, I waited 15 months for an assigned parking space in that deck and during much of that time I was forbidden to pay $3 as a "visitor" to park there. Why? Because the spaces had to remain available for visitors to Marietta Square. With the 2-hour visitor parking unavailble to me as well, I parked at the Public Library on Roswell Road and did quite a daily hike to my office building. Visitors to the Square park illegally on a daily basis, using handicap spaces, courier parking spaces and unpatrolled juror parking lots. Cobb County employees (with the exception of a few rogue workers who refuse to follow rules) park where they're told, and pay out of their bi-weekly paychecks to do so. Also, where exactly would you propose the County put in "off-street" parking lots for Cobb County government buildings? Do you see a lot of real estate available for that purpose? I don't. Kudos to Cobb County for doing what the City of Marietta can not or will not do in providing additional parking for employees and visitors alike.

The City Council has killed a proposal to lease its seven-acre Aviation Sports Complex to a private baseball group for the next 20 years without ever bringing the matter to a vote.

I want that deal wrote: Marietta would be crazy to let a field go for 20 years. Pumping 800K over 20 years is nothing when a private owned business would reap all the benefits, not Marietta. That is like the city giving me an old restaurant for 20 years and promising to put 800K into it over the next 20 years then giving it back. But I make all the money and keep all the money.

Silent Majority wrote: Wow! What a wasted opportunity to help out Marietta HS baseball. And they blew it. This could of helped out as a major feeder program for the high school for years to come seeing that Perry Parham has been defunct for years. They can't even keep a consistent head coach let alone try to build a feeder program to help them. What a sad state of affairs for Marietta baseball especially when you had a private entity willing to do what it had to take to invest 800k over the next 20 years to build something great.

Good luck Marietta wrote: Let's see? Have a private organization pump $800,000 in to a dilapidated, at best, facility that hardly ever gets used, or have it sit there even longer doing nothing! What a short-sited knee-jerk reation to a perfectly good plan to improve an area that is a complete eye sore. Not to mention, the group of baseball minds that would be running the facility are the best around. It looks like this was a poor decision for "Thunder" to make a statement in his first few days in office. Good luck Marietta!
Comments
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anonymous
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January 20, 2010
To Without a voice- I get up at 5:30 each day, go to work and WORK for 9-10 hours (not 5 hrs us drivers do) and then go home to do things there as well and maybe go to bed by 10. So I am up, working on and off, for more than 15-16 hours, as most people are. If you gripe that you have to be vertical for 13 hours it tells me something about your attitude toward your life, work, etc. Woe is me, I have to earn money!
from watchful
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January 14, 2010
Not to belabor Mr Grisham's finances, but if he took a pay cut of $4,880. like Ms Luckett stated that is well over a 2% cut more like a 5% cut, WHAT A TEAM PLAYER! And there is a difference between a pay cut and not getting a step raise. So to, To Watchful yours is the dense statement, why don't you give us exact figures so we can put all this to rest. You must be someone in management, always thinking you have all the answers and the employee is wrong, its the Cobb County way!
Without a Voice
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January 14, 2010
Enough about Grisham's salary. What about the statements that he has an open door to drivers & bus driver moral? If the bus drivers could only speak freely withour repercussions. Drivers are being fired for infractions that have nothing to do with driving & they are afraid for their jobs. Driving a school bus is the most dangerous job in the school system. They have to deal with other drivers who pay no attention to a school bus and dangerous students. Is your child safer in a classroom or a bus? Most people would say a classroom. They also work long days, just not consecutive hours. Many drivers last week had to be at their bus by 4:30AM to make sure it would run. They finished their AM run around 9:30AM. Then back on the bus by 1:30PM to start the afternoon runs. They finish around 5:30PM. That means a driver is up awake & working, off & on, 13 hours. Could everyone do that 5 days a week? Deal with traffic, over a 100 children & very little sleep? School bus drivers are under appreciated & under valued. People are willing to trust them with the transportation & safety of their children, but think they are beneath them. It is time school bus drivers were given the respect they deserve.
Big D
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January 14, 2010
Dear Watchful,

Get your facts straight. According to CCSD's website, Mr. Grisham took a pay cut to become the Transportation Director halfway through a school year. Prior to that, he'd been a high school administrator. AND, the Open Georgia data reflects FISCAL year info, not calendar year.

Frankly, the TRUTH didn't fit your template, so you simply propagated falsehoods based on lazy research. Thank goodness YOU aren't in charge of our schools' buses!!!

anonymous
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January 14, 2010
My god, all CCSD employees took a 2% hit last year! Are you really that dense that you can not figure that out? Read up on how the pay scale works and the lack of merit increases.
to watchful
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January 14, 2010
Hey watchful, if you really want to know the truth you would understand that the state auditor site is a year behind in its data. Grish did get a raise from 2008 to 2009 (2008-2009 school year) of about 2% just like every other employee in the district. But in the fy10 data (this school year) which won't be posted until this time next year, he took the 2% cut in the district just like everyone else. So to answer your question, Armstrong lied, Luckett and Grish told the truth and the state auditor backs it up!
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