Mokena district eliminates transportation director’s job
BY GINGER BRASHINGER Correspondent September 10, 2012 5:40PM
Updated: October 12, 2012 6:10AM
MOKENA — The Mokena School Board has voted to change the job of transportation director from full-time to part-time for the current school year.
Board members Patrick Markham, Mark Franceschini, Mike Ford and Joe Spalla voted last week to “honorably dismiss” Homer Glen resident Ron Kaczorowski, 66, from the full-time post.
Kathy Moore and Scott Peters voted against the move. New board member Jeff Regan abstained.
Markham, who serves as board president, said “an analysis of the job duties” showed Kaczorowski was being paid about the same as the Lincoln-Way District director of transportation, Rich Wilkey, even though Kaczorowski was supervising only 10 bus routes.
“We felt we could increase the level of responsibility and participation of our (bus) drivers,” Markham said. “We have to be as prudent as possible with our tax dollars.”
Superintendent Steve Stein said the district actually has 10 buses at each of the district’s three schools.
“You could consider it 10 routes per building,” Stein said.
Kaczorowski’s salary is listed on the district’s budget as $52,447 for this year. He had 14 years experience as director.
Wilkey is paid $85,100 to oversee 355 routes for Lincoln-Way and has a transportation coordinator and three transportation assistants under him.
Markham said the maintenance crew and new business manager John Troy can take on some of the Kaczorowski’s transportation responsibilities.
Peters questioned cutting the position at a time when the district not only was hiring a new business manager but is short on bus drivers.
He noted that Kaczorowski was filling in when there weren’t enough drivers available.
“I think this is poor timing,” Peters said. “I think we’re doing ourselves a disservice, and it’s going to come back to bite us.”
Kaczorowski said he did not attend the board meeting because he “felt it would be awkward.” He said he will not take the district’s part-time transportation position and does plan to find work elsewhere.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here,” he said. “I’m just disappointed that it turned out the way it did.”