City of Mission Viejo (threat) to sue CUSD

Well, folks. We just had a successful RECALL of two Trustees of the Capistrano Unified School District, CUSD. So here we are, two weeks after the swearing in of the two new members Sue Palazzo and Ken Maddox only to find the city of Mission Viejo approving the drafting of a (potential) lawsuit against CUSD due to a proposed reduction in bus service for our students.
Mayor Trish Kelley reported that CUSD has a plan to reduce bus service from 62 to 18. The impact on Mission Viejo would be as follows: A decrease at four elementary schools from a total of seven buses in the morning and seven in the afternoon to two and two. The Newhart Middle school will see a reduction of nine and nine to three and three. Capistrano Valley High School will see a reduction from six in the morning and nine in the afternoon to three and three. Collectively this would represent a two-thirds reduction of bus service for Mission Viejo schools.

Note: Mission Viejo citizens have informed me that they often see these huge buses with very few riders. It would be useful to learn the actual ridership numbers.

During council remarks of the July 7th meeting, under Agenda Item #39, CUSD & SVUSD Busing, that you can view on our streaming video, you will hear Council Member Lance MacLean make the following statement:

“I’ll shoot from the hip. Because of greenhouse regulations that we are all subject to at the state and city fact you will notice the County runs, OCTA runs, alternative fuel vehicles to reduce greenhouse gases. School buses are not falling under that regulation and so I’d like to add into that Motion that the school district convert their bus fleet to alternative fuel that’s more environmentally friendly..its for the health and safety of our children.. Right now they pollute the air with diesel fumes, particular matter, nitrous oxide, nitrogen oxide, which is a big component of smog and they seem to be exempted. I think at this point if we are going to pull the trigger and sue them (CUSD) let’s do it all the way and make the school districts convert to alternative fuel vehicles. The city has already done so ..our city trash trucks are compressed natural gas. The street sweepers and on and on.”

While I can debate the services paid for by the city, such as our providing crossing guards and extra security at schools, the interjection of the above greenhouse gas comments into the Motion by Lance are troubling. It’s bad enough that every school district in the state is dealing with their Prop 98 shortfall and layoffs of support staff along with some teachers.
What does he prefer? Green buses or unemployed teachers?

Does he have any clue as to the cost of his suggestion?
What a nice way to welcome the new majority of CUSD. A lawsuit by our city whose students they were elected to educate.
What next? I expect to get a warning notice from our city attorney  about some new Ordinance that unless we convert our personal vehicles to alternate fuel we will receive a $1,000 summons each time we are stopped.  While “freedom isn’t free”  this “nanny state” mentality is very disturbing.

Please mark your calendars to attend the CUSD “Negative Declaration.” Public Hearing on Monday July 21.

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