Charging for bus transportation ‘political suicide,’ letter writer says

To the editor:

Political suicide — that’s the phrase that first came to mind when I heard about the Mehlville school board’s decision to start charging for bus service for students who live within 3.5 miles of school.

Having been a student and/or a resident of Oakville for over the past 32 years, I have never seen a school board alienate the residents of its community so fast or so completely than the Mehlville board did when it adopted the plan to charge for bus service.

Prop A’s failure should have been a surprise to no one, especially the school board. They had been continually criticized for their lack of fiscal accountability. Then during the campaign for passage of Prop A, they threatened the district with the cut of bus services if it was not approved. So, first we have a board that overspends the last bond issue that was passed, then asks for a 97-cent tax increase. It then threatens the residents that we will have to pay for bus service for our children if we do not pass Prop A. And they wonder why it failed?

With two children in school, I cannot afford the $750 it would cost me for bus service. So I’m assuming, like most of the parents in the district, I will be driving my children to school. I, like most of the other parents in the district, I’m assuming, will be remembering the names of the members of the Mehlville school board each time there is an election for board members. The only exception will be Mr. Frank. He seems to understand the problems and the issues at the root of the failure of Prop A. He also seems to understand that threatening the residents of the district solves nothing.

Political suicide — I hope the remaining members of the Mehlville school board remember this phrase the next time their seat comes up for re-election.

Jeffrey Polka