Discussion with Trustee Ken Maddox, Capistrano Unified School District on school busing

As a result of the state’s budget crisis, and it’s impact on Prop 98 school funding, the Capistrano Unified School District, CUSD, made a decision to reduce bus service for students living in Mission Viejo as well as other communities served by the District.

On July 21st Bill Curley, the city attorney of the city of Mission Viejo, sent a letter to Mr. Cary Brockman, Director, Facilities Planning Department of the CUSD, that says in part that they have an obligation to comply with CEQA and the environmental impact of that action. His letter states that “although the “initial Study, IS, and Equity Busing Plan Traffic Impact Analysis provided with the IS contemplates mitigation, no Mitigation Monitoring Plan has been provided and the IS fails even to mention implementation and enforcement of the admittedly necessary mitigation.”

In the list of deficiencies he states: the project Description is confusing and inadequate, the Traffic Impact Analysis, The Air Quality Analysis, potential Public Safety and Emergency Services and Noise Analysis are each inadequate.

In discussing the plan to reduce school bus service with Trustee Ken Maddox today he asked “when did school buses become a luxury item?”
Ken strongly believes that we should consider “contracting out bus service” and believes that the Tustin School District is already doing it.  He added that outsourcing this service would provide “more flexibility in adding more routes as needed.”
As one of the newest members of the CUSD Board I asked Ken to share some of his goals and objectives. He responded by saying that he would “like to review all of (CUSD’s) major Contracts” such as “construction services.” That is not to say that there is anything improper in those awards but considering their nearly half billion dollar budget it is a fiduciary responsibility of Board Members to monitor these Contracts.

Gilbert comment. As the Mission Viejo city council meeting is being held tomorrow evening I will be curious to see what follow up action the council or city attorney will take regarding the CUSD busing issue.

CORRECTION. The MV city council is dark until Monday Aug 18th

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