Shelton DTC wants proof, mayor claims $1M savings for in-house busing
SHELTON — The Democratic Town Committee wants proof of Republican Mayor Mark Lauretti’s claim that the city is saving money by handling school transportation.
Committee Chairman David Gioiello said the DTC filed a Freedom of Information request with the city seeking cost information on the school bus program.
“It has been the position of the mayor that he could run the bus service better and less expensive … we don’t believe him and want to look at the costs,” said Gioiello.
“He said he was going to save the city $1 million. Let’s see,” Gioiello said. “The city can bury costs in other line items, and we won’t know. But we think the citizens should have a full accounting of the process. From what I know, there are still buses running late and the service still has issues.”
The DTC filed a separate FOI request to the Board of Education over hiring a new board attorney.
The FOI request for school transportation costs, among other items, was sent to Lauretti on Nov. 25. To this point, Gioiello said, there has been no response from the city.
The DTC is seeking all documentation relating to the city’s purchase of the propane-powered school buses from Jan. 1, 2000, to the present; any analysis done to assess the financial viability of the city taking over school bus transportation; maintenance costs and records from July 1, 2018, to the present; and copies of any contracts entered into by the city to operate the propane school buses for school transportation for the 2019-20 school year.
Shelton Democrats are also seeking copies of any individual employment contracts, contracts with outside companies or collective bargaining agreements entered into by the city for school transportation for the 2019-20 school year.
The request also calls for all documentation of driver costs paid for by the city from July 1, 2018, to the present and any documents showing an accounting of the time spent by Ken Nappi in his job supervising the operation and maintenance of the school buses for the City of Shelton from July 1, 2019 to the present.
The DTC is also seeking all information on costs from driver background checks, drug testing and assisting bus drivers in getting school bus licenses between July 1, 2019, and the present. The city was also asked for any insurance claims filed against the city from any motor vehicle accidents or incidents involving the school buses between July 1, 2019 and the present.
Gioiello said the DTC complaint against the Board of Education charges that the board’s first meeting after the November election violated FOI rules.
The complaint states that the Board of Education added items to its agenda on the Nov. 20 meeting without proper approval of the members. Among the last-minute additions to the agenda was the Board of Education shifting its legal services to city corporation counsel Teodosio Stanick.
“That is a violation of the FOI rules,” said Gioiello. “You may add items to a regular agenda, but the items must be approved by two-thirds of the members present (and that was not done).”