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Mayor Brown Concerned About Childrens' Safety Without District Busing

Two Trenton parents asked council members and Mayor Gerald Brown to urge school board members to reconsider cutting busing.

Former Wayne County Sheriff's Deputy and Trenton parent Mike Royal's face began to turn red as he spoke about district busing at Monday's city council meeting.

Royal and his wife Deena asked Mayor Gerald Brown and council members to urge Trenton School Board members to reconsider a recent budget cut that cancelled busing for general education students.

"I've come to you tonight with a concern I have with busing at the school district," Royal said. "I would like to ask the city council tonight to put your heads together and come up with something to try to help out this issue that is a month away."

Royal, 47, has a son named Dean, 11, who is starting at , and Royal said it isn't safe for his son to walk to school.

On June 13 and parents have expressed considerable concern at the decision.

The Royals say they have just one concern—the safety of the children.

Royal and his family live on Mount Faucon Street, which is south of Van Horn Road and East of Fort Street. The speed limit on Fort Street in the area is 50 mph.

"There's not even crossing walk lines that go across Fort Street or Van Horn," Royal said. "Nothing's been addressed on how these kids are going to get to school."

Mayor Gerald Brown said he and members of city council have discussed the issue with Chief William Lilienthal and interim Superintendent Larry Leapley, and each share concerns about the safety of children walking to school.

"I have a law enforcement background, so I have a vested interest in getting kids to school safety," former Brown said.

Brown is a former chief of police in Trenton.

Brown said he is worried about the area where the Royals live and other areas where there are not crosswalks for pedestrians.

"We are urging, through our conversations with the administration, the school district to reconsider their decision to do that (cut busing for general education students)," Brown said. "And for obvious reasons. For the safety of the children."

Brown said the obligation for creating a new crossing guard program lies with the city and not the school district.

He added the district made the decision to save $400,000 by cutting busing, but it would cost the city about $60,000 to make the streets safe for children walking to school.

"If we have to beef up our crossing guard program, we estimate it would cost about $60,000 to even handle that problem," Brown said.

Council member MaryEllen McLeod said the human cost is immeasurable in the event something were to happen to a child while walking to school.

"It's unfortunate that is has come to that in this community, because our community is as strong as our school district and our school district is as strong as our community and we work together," Brown said.

Brown said he hopes that in the next couple of weeks school board members will reconsider cutting busing.

Several other about the issue since the decision was made.

Brown said the police department will continue to meet with the school district administration to come up with a solution.

Council member William LeFever told Royal he feels the board will reconsider and reinstate busing.

"We have to have busing," LeFever said. "I think everybody up here (on city council) is united in that, and we are all putting pressure on. So, we are in your camp."

Anna August 02, 2011 at 04:49 AM
Mr. Royal should attend the next school board meeting Monday, August 8. Perhaps with the city council members and the mayor in his camp he might get a different response, if any, from the board members. They seem to think everyone can carpool or use family to get kids to school starting next month!
sine-of-the-times August 02, 2011 at 06:25 PM
Perhaps you need to recall all legislators (Sen. Patrick Colbeck) who voted to take money away from your school district in May. We HAD a budget surplus where we could have gotten money for each school. Instead, Snyder and his legislators voted on a budget that took away money from schools to pay for huge tax cuts for businesses. They are the ones to hold accountable for this. Your school board had to make a choice in safety for sure: 40+ kids in all classrooms and bussing, or no bussing and fewer kids (albeit a few) in each classroom. I prefer them to be safer inside the school. The school board chose teachers over busses. I can figure out how to keep them safe getting there, but I can't be in a classroom to make sure my kids can safely learn. You must call Sen. Patrick Colbeck, Gov. Snyder, and ask him how he plans on helping you/us. Your board has already tried and were not listened to. If you signed in MAy or June, please find someone and re-sign so your name will still count! The deadline has changed so we have a better chance at getting these guys out of office, the people who want to close public schools.
Annie Ominous August 02, 2011 at 08:03 PM
Maybe with Jerry Brown advocating and Leapley back, we can shake the stench off the city and the schools left behind by John Savel. Of course the busing situation is unsafe! How are you going to push 400 cars through a 2 lane side street without someone getting hurt? Trenton already ditched their IT people and probably lost them all for good...they better make up their mind on the buses soon or they will lose the busing manager too. You can't just drop anyone into these jobs. Their has to be experience behind it. bring back busing, bring back I.T., recall SNYDER!
karen S August 02, 2011 at 11:13 PM
As a resident and person that sees the traffic by Arthurs Middle on a daily basis,Parents need to obey rules and use the new parking lot the was designed for the purpose of dropping/picking up,slow down,don't drop kids in the middle of the street,and stay out of people's driveways. I saw 7 "close calls" last school year. Parents must take responsibility,too. Leave earlier.
Annie Ominous August 03, 2011 at 02:29 AM
Parents DO need to follow rules. So after witnessing 7 close calls, how many more do you think will happen by increasing traffic by 500%, which by the way the new parking lots were NOT designed to process? Of those, what is the probability of a fatality? And what about parents who have to be to work or lose benefits, pay or risk being outsourced? How many times will they be late ever if they leave 45 minutes earlier? Who is responsible for the kids waiting outside when it is 5 degrees? Buses need to be returned, and parents need to get Snyder out or at least stop the attack on public schools funding OR the illegal diversion of k-12 funds to colleges.
Concerned Momma August 03, 2011 at 04:01 AM
I watched as I dropped my children off at Hedke school as someone rear ended a parked car and drive off, Ive had friends and neighbors that live across the street and have had strangers park in their drive ways because there is no parking to pick up their child. I live on a street by Arthurs and the cars fly down my street. There is bound to be an accident one of these days where a child gets hurt. Why not cut some administration jobs to save he buses...and if you think they are not going to have close to 40 students in a class think again...they never count the special needs kids.

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