ALBANY, Ga. -- The Dougherty County School System Transportation/Safety Committee on Monday heard a proposal from Transportation Chief Kenneth Williams to restructure the department.
Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely has been urging Williams and consultant Jack Willis to streamline the department's organizational structure to save money and make it "leaner and meaner."
"We are currently in a period of change," Williams said. "Transportation departments all over the state are undergoing change with emphasis on student safety and saving money."
Williams then presented a new organizational chart to the committee. The department currently uses four 'zone supervisors' (for Albany, Monroe, Dougherty and Westover) to ensure timely service, deal with problems and disciplinary issues on the system's 158 buses.
The new structure would eliminate the four zone supervisor's positions, and create fleet and operations managers slots. That way Williams would have just two positions reporting directly to him instead of four.
"We need to dismantle the current structure and make it more streamlined and efficient," Williams said.
In other discussions, the committee looked at the mobility program which was initiated by the school board in 2008.
The residential mobility program allows students who start the year at a particular school to remain in that school after moving anywhere in the county. The district will transport those students which can lead to early morning bus rides and added transportation costs for the nearly 800 students who now take advantage of the program.
"Mobility needs to go," Willis said. "We've created a monster and now we have to feed it."
Mosely has speculated that ending residential mobility could save the district more than $1 million per year.
Students enrolled in magnet schools, however, would not be effected.
"Mobility is not an efficient use of our transportation resources and needs to be looked at," Willis said.
In other matters, School Police Chief Troy Conley's request for six new Dodge Charger police cruisers to replace some of the department's aging vehicles was not received well by the committee.
The six vehicles, with required police modifications, would cost the district more than $150,000. Committee member Lane Price asked Conley to look at the repairing the existing vehicles.
"I really can't make any comment on the matter right now," Conley said after being rebuffed for the fifth time for new vehicles.
He told the committee he would look into the costs of repairs, but added "these vehicles are worn out and at the end of the line."