The following letter was submitted by Concord Carlisle bus driver Ann Pike.
For the past 41 years I have been a Town of Concord employee. I started out as a van driver for the special needs children. In 1995 the van for special needs separated from the busses and I, having my bus license, transferred to the busses. Now, I am a proud professional bus driver for the Town of Concord.
The relationship and bond that I have with each of my students and their families is one of the many great benefits of my job. One of the transportation managers used to be my kindergarten student and now he is one of my supervisors. This is something that is special and only comes with my many years of driving in Concord.
I have been here for many changes in the Transportation Department. Some changes were good and others were not so good but in all situations the transportation team has come together to get the job done in the safest, most effective way possible. Student safety is our number one priority and each employee of the transportation team takes their job seriously and we absolutely love what we do.
In the past, I have seen many managers and bus drivers come and go but the Transportation Department that Concord has now is exceptional to say the least. The management team, bus drivers, and mechanics always put the students and Concord residents safety and their needs first. We take pride in our careers and we all go above and beyond the call of duty each day and especially when there is an unforeseen need. Sometimes it may be to help out another driver with their route, coming to the aid of a broken down bus within minutes and fixing the problem, being on call and evacuating certain areas in town when there is an emergency, or working with the Fire Department and being a warming station for residents displaced by a fire are just a few examples. If the town does privatize the busses the question I have is: will a new, private company do all this for Concord?
It breaks my heart to think that the Town of Concord is even looking into privatizing the Transportation Department. Our team will no longer be the same because the mechanics will not have a job and not all bus drivers will be hired by a new bus company. This in turn will affect the exceptional services we give to our students and residents. I have read in the newspaper about how other towns went on to privatize and due to problems and errors with their new company they want to get back what they once had. The Town of Concord hopefully will keep the Transportation Department and will not fall into the same category.
I hope to be working as a Town of Concord employee in 2012 along with my Transportation Department family that we have now. We all love what we do and want to continue working for the town.
Concord Carlisle Bus Driver