School Board Governance Perspectives

Last night’s Madison Board of Education meeting provided an illuminating look at two rather different perspectives on governance. The Board voted 4 (Carstensen, Keys, Lopez and Winston) – 3 (Kobza, Robarts, Vang) to support the Administration’s approach to the growing problems with Mr. Mom’s Transport Service (I believe there were two votes on this question – the minutes are not available as of this writing).

Many points were discussed, including the District’s pre-contract vetting of Mr. Mom’s and whether, given recent experience, the Administration should be allowed to subcontract with Badger Bus via Mr. Mom’s (Badger Bus is replacing Mr. Mom’s service on many routes). The District recently signed a five year agreement with Mr. Mom’s Transport Service.

The motion passed 4-3 to allow the Administration to Subcontract Badger Bus service via Mr. Mom’s (again, I think there was a 2nd vote on this). Watch the debate here

For what it’s worth, I’m actually in favor of long term (5 year) contracts. They, hopefully allow vendors to optimize and perhaps manage costs more effectively. The subcontract to Badger Bus via Mr. Mom’s, given the issues, seems unusual.

UPDATE: The 4-3 vote was on a Kobza motion, seconded by Robarts to contract directly with Badger Bus, rather than using a subcontract via Mr. Mom’s. After this motion was defeated 4-3 (Kobza, Robarts, Vang), as noted above, the Board voted 5 – 2 (Kobza joined Carstensen, Keys, Lopez and Winston) to support the Administration’s proposed subcontract with Badger Bus via Mr. Moms.