Brookfield Local School District’s agreement with Liberty schools to share a bus mechanic didn’t even last a month.
The agreement began July 1, but Brookfield Supt. Toby Gibson said there were inklings before then that the deal would fall through.
“Through June, with kind of the uncertainties of the stuff that was going on, and then some speculation about the Liberty superintendent potentially resigning and then, at the same time, they RIF’d their transportation supervisor and posted for a part time, which I didn’t think was probably the best scenario to put our employee in, so I gave them our 30-day notice,” to opt out, Gibson said July 20.
“RIF” is reduction in force.
Brookfield’s bus mechanic, Reed Sutliff, who was to be shared with Liberty, then resigned to take a full-time job with Liberty, where he had worked previously.
Brookfield school officials are trying to decide whether to post the position or hire a third-party vendor. Officials are in talks with Brookfield Truck and Tractor Repair Specialists. “I know both sides were excited about the conversation and what could possibly work,” Gibson said.
The agreement with Liberty was the first to follow a shared services study that the Ohio Auditor of State conducted of Brookfield, Liberty and Mathews school districts. The study found that there could be significant cost savings if the district shared transportation, special education and administrative services.
“That study came out and I think a lot of it looks good on paper,” Gibson said. “It’s hard when you’re dealing with a number of communities and personalities and scenarios and situations, and then you throw all the unknowns of what we’re going through on top of it, it kind of compounds. Different situation, it might have worked out. If something comes down the line, I’m still open-minded to anything. If it can help the district and it’s still good for our resources and materials and ultimately our kids, it’s always something to consider.”
UPDATE: On Aug. 25 Gibson said the district is using Brookfield Truck and Trailer informally as the sides prepare a contract. He said he believes the district will receive a discount from the company’s regular rates.