Joseph Sangiovanni, a former Brick Township councilman and mayoral candidate,will not have his contract renewed as the Brick school district’s transportation manager.
Sangiovanni, who earned $102,900 this school year running the district’s transportation department, has a contract which expires June 30. It will not be renewed, said Dr. Richard Caldes, interim schools superintendent.
A call placed to Sangiovanni during a Board of Education meeting Thursday night seeking comment was not immediately returned.
The decision not to retain Sangiovanni comes after school bus drivers have, over the past month, excoriated the management of their department, describing a chaotic working environment where bus drivers are constantly covering routes that are not assigned to anyone. Board of Education members approved a budget for the 2015-16 school year that eliminates up to 24 bus drivers in an effort to make the department run more efficiently. The plan to eliminate drivers, board members have said, was recommended by management. Sangiovanni has denied that he was behind the layoff plan, and board members have never specified who in the district recommended the layoffs.
Caldes said after the school calendar officially ends on June 30, he will present the board with a transportation plan that will reorganize the department.
“They’re going to get a proposal for a plan, and they can vote yes or no,” Caldes said. “It still has to go through the finance and HR committees.”
Caldes said school district officials are still working on the plan and called it a “live document.”
Employees of the transportation department who are not represented by a labor union are currently operating under contracts with 30 day termination notice clauses as the restructuring plan pends.
Bus drivers again packed Thursday night’s board meeting, though only two spoke during a public comment period. Board members have been reconsidering the layoff plan, but are constrained by the already-approved 2015-16 school year budget which cut about $1.2 million in salaries from the transportation department in contemplation of the layoffs. If the drivers were to be retained, the district would have to divert money from elsewhere in the spending plan to fund the drivers’ salaries and benefits packages.
The board decided on June 15 to move ahead with filing layoff documents with the state Civil Service Commission, but officials said the number of layoffs will not be known until after the Monmouth-Ocean Educational Services Commission provides the district with pricing on out-of-district bus runs to vocational and parochial schools.