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Operator Volume 42 Issue 2 • February 2012

A RECORD ATTENDANCE!!! The 2012 Minnesota School Bus Safety Expo held in St. Paul was a great success! Record attendance for both the MSBOA and MAPT was made this year. The presentations and information given to members was insightful and timely for our industry. Peggy Burns, the keynote speaker of the conference, kept the audience enthralled while she shared very timely and reallife stories of cases regarding school transportation.

SPECIAL THANKS TO… Student Transportation of America for sponsoring our keynote speaker, Peggy Burns. John Benjamin and Northfield Lines for sponsoring transportation to the trade show. Seon and the Braun Corp for sponsoring the “Hours of Awesome”.

AND A GREAT BIG THANKS TO ALL OF OUR VENDORS… Q'Straint/Sure-Lok AngelTrax Mobile Video Student Trans. of America Interstate Power Systems Minnesota State Patrol North Central Bus Sales American Bus Sales MedTox Laboratories Education Logistics REI USA Mobile Drug Testing Dakota Ag Innovations Holiday Station Stores

Sprint Cummins Npower Telin Transportation Group Seon System Sales The Braun Corporation American Lung Association Boyer Trucks Espar Products Advanced Wireless Comm. Zonar Systems Hoglund Bus and Truck Tyler Technologies GateKeeper

Roger Millner

Peggy Burns

MSBOA Group at MN Wild Game Tom Revnew

John Benjamin

Great Fun at the WILD!!!!

THANKS TO ALL WHO ATTENDED THE 2012 MN SCHOOL BUS SAFETY EXPO!!!


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From the President

The Operator MISSION STAT E ME NT:

Doug Grisim Lake City Bus Lines, Lake City, MN Greetings from Lake City! Last month I wrote about the horrible tragedy involving the shooting death of one of our police officers, so this month I think it is appropriate to emphasize some of the positive things that are happening around in our communities. Typically at this time of year we are grumbling about how long the winter season seems to be, but not this year! Today it is a balmy 34 degrees at 10:30 AM here in the banana belt on Lake Pepin. It seems like everywhere you look there is a “Polar Plunge” that you can take part in. Now that is what I call “embracing winter”. The extended Grisim family has been doing this crazy event for a few years now but I haven’t officially taken the plunge. I’ve ran out of an outdoor sauna and rolled in a snow bank before and that wasn’t too bad, but jumping through the ice into freezing water seems like too much for me. Maybe we should have a Team MSBOA enter one of these events? I can think of quite a few members who I would love to see all dressed up at one of these events! Now there is an idea for next years “Safety Expo”. This years “Safety Expo” was a huge success!! It was well attended and very informational. A special thanks to the planning committee for their efforts and to the vendors who make it a priority to put on a top notch showing of their products.

THE PURPOSE OF THE OPERATOR IS TO PROVIDE THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE MINNESOTA SCHOOL BUS OPERATORS ASSOCIATION WITH INFORMATION REGARDING CURRENT INDUSTRY ISSUES. THE OPERATOR IS PUBLISHED 11 TIMES A YEAR BY THE MSBOA, 10606 HEMLOCK ST. NW • ANNANDALE, MN 55302. FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 320-274-8313. E-Mail msboa@lkdllink.net or FAX: 320-274-8027. Website: www.msboa.com SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE FREE WITH MEMBERSHIP. ADDITIONAL SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE $24.00 A YEAR. COPYRIGHT 2012. MEMBERS MAY MAKE PHOTOCOPIES OR USE ARTICLES AS NECESSARY PROVIDING THE SOURCE IS CITED. CO-EDITORS: SHARI DANZEISEN & SHELLY JONAS

Please keep an eye out for the upcoming Safety and Compliance Outreach meetings in your area and make every effort to attend.

LAYOUT & DESIGN: SHARI DANZEISEN

In closing… “Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves, to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterday by our today.” - Stuart B. Johnson

VIEWS PRESENTED IN THIS NEWSLETTER MAY NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE OPINIONS OF THE ENTIRE MEMBERSHIP OR ITS BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

Have a great month, and travel safe! Doug

BOARD OF DIRECTORS PRESIDENT DOUG GRISIM

FIRST VICE PRESIDENT GAYLEN LENZ

JOHN BENJAMIN, NORTHFIELD

STEVEN JANNINGS, ALBERT LEA

ROGER MILLNER, ANNANDALE

507.645.5720/FAX 645.5635 jbenjamin@northfieldlines.com

507.373.1467/FAX 373.2714 albc@charterinternet.com

320.274.8313 / FAX 274.8027 mmbus@lkdllink.net

BRIAN KOCH, WACONIA

CHARLES PETERSON, JR., ANDOVER

952.442.3370/FAX 442.2665 brian@kochbus.com

763.450.5385 / FAX 755.7622 cmp50bus@aol.com

JIM KOONST, BELLE PLAINE

JIM SCHIFFLER, MINNEAPOLIS

952.873.2362 / FAX 952.873.6499 stierbus@frontiernet.net

320.266.1312 / FAX 251.6547 jims@sunburstmemorials.com

MIKE CLARK, FERGUS FALLS 218.739.3393/FAX 739-5564 otmdc@prtel.com

CONNIE GRISIM, STEWARTVILLE 507.533.8775/FAX 533.8775 grisimbus@aol.com

SECOND VICE PRESIDENT

DOUG GRISIM, LAKE CITY

JIM KOONST

651.345.4112/FAX 345.2118 dgrisim@embarqmail.ccom

TREASURER ROGER MILLNER

EX-OFFICIO

GAYLEN LENZ, LAKE CRYSTAL 507.726.2832/FAX 642.3697 topbus65@hotmail.com

TOM HEY, MARSHALL 507.532.4043 / FAX 532.9398 thomashey@iw.net

TOM HEY

KEN INSELMANN, WILLMAR 320.235.2110/FAX 235.1301 keni@willmarbus.com

RUDY LUNDAHL, DULUTH 218.724.1707 / FAX 724.2432 rudyl@voyageurbus.com

JOSH SCHIFFLER, CROSBY 218.546.6156 / FAX 546.2886 jschiffler@crosbyironton.net

LINNEA WEIDA, LITCHFIELD 320.693.3292/FAX 693.8180 linnea@hicksbusandtruck.com


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Legislative Update By Tom Keliher, Keliher Government Affairs Consulting, LLC. Phone (612) 723-5168 • Email: thomas@keliher-mn.com The Minnesota Legislature has begun the 2012 Legislative Session. Session is expected to last no later than early April. However, the last time the Legislature adjourned early was 1998; constitutionally the Legislature can meet until May 21st. The desire to adjourn early is based on at least three factors. The GOP, the new majority, believes that the longer they are in Session the more trouble can occur in terms of the potential for controversial votes. The once a decade redistricting of Legislative Districts will create new maps and will take affect for the 2012 adopted a budget for the management of the Senate and House as institutions. In doing so, the internal budget for the House and Senate is dramatically reduced and will require the Senate DFL to lay off 15 or so employees. Basically the House and the Senate only budgeted enough funding to operate the Legislature till early April. Not seen in Minnesota yet. Cameras on buses are being proposed not to document activities within the bus, but to document stop-arm violations. It has been discussed that cameras within a bus will document the behavior of students and drivers. Anecdotally, more times than not, the cameras substantiate the bus driver’s version of events on buses. Cameras placed on buses to document stop-arm violations has passed in the State of Washington and are being proposed in New Jersey. House File 730/Senate File 243 is a proposal that is moving forward this year that would restrict and limit the amount of noneconomic, pain and suffering etc., available to be awarded through a court proceeding to individuals driving with a revoked license. The basic goal of this proposal is to limit financial gain to individuals driving with a revoked license. MSBOA will continue to monitor this proposal and keep members apprised of its progress. As a general rule, the Minnesota Trial Attorneys’ Association greatly opposes proposals that limit an individual’s rights regarding redress of harm, even when regulations or laws were ignored. There has been a great deal of discussion surrounding the issue of “bullying.” The Governor has named a task force to address what some are calling a major issue regarding student safety. There are numerous proposals introduced in the Legislature. There have been some very high profile suicides reported in the media regarding students who have or may have bullied. MSBOA will continue to follow this issue. State law considers buses as part of a students’ school environment, meaning activity that occurs on a bus is the same as a violation on school property. At the time of this writing the 2012 Legislation Session has started its second week. Stay tuned to the newsletter for updates on activities at the State Capitol.

Pre-Trip Inspection DVD Looking for new training ideas for your current drivers? Looking to update some of your old training materials for new drivers? Look NO FURTHER!!! In 2008, MSBOA partnered with MAPT to create “Inspecting Your School Bus” DVD in HD. Copies are available for immediate shipment. Please find the order form inserted into this issue of The Operator. Proceeds from this video go to fund new safety projects for MSBOA.


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A Call to Action Shelly Jonas I never worry about action, only inaction – Winston Churchill There is a show on ABC called “What Would You Do?” The presenter, John Quinones, sets up scenarios to find out when people would intervene in certain circumstances. There are ethical dilemmas such as would you stand up for a young employee who is being berated by an overbearing boss? Would you say something to a mother who is harassing her daughter about her weight? It highlights what it takes for people to break out of their comfort zone, get involved and do something. It is an interesting reflection on the ethics of society. Many people are often inclined towards inaction, rather than stand up for another person. In the school bus industry, we are forced into these circumstances quite often. Should you say something about the child without a winter coat? Should you say something about the child (or parent) who appears to be under the influence of some mood altering substance? Should you keep the student on the bus when something seems amiss at home? Should you trust the note that a child gives you permitting him or her to go to a friend’s house? I would venture to guess that the majority of school bus drivers do intervene because we are responsible for children. However, there are the exceptions that unfortunately come to light, usually through the bright glare of the media. At the conference this year, one thing stuck with me as I attempted to get my brain around all of the information imparted to us. It was a piece of information from Peggy Burns. She said that in all of her years of practice, she has seen more trouble caused by inaction rather than someone doing something that might not be so-called right thing. Burns presented case after case where a school district chose NOT to tell the transportation department or a contractor about a child’s health or criminal history because they wanted to protect the child’s privacy. However, in the end, they were held accountable because they did nothing to protect the other children riding that same bus. Or they didn’t foresee all the reasonable circumstances that a child might encounter on the school bus. INACTION There is the case that happened in the metro area last fall where a school bus driver overheard a boy say something about his aide touching him inappropriately. The school bus driver was very upset about it and could not sleep that night. However, the next day he didn’t say anything because his supervisor was not in. INACTION The State Patrol presented its findings from the 2008 motor coach accident in Albertville, MN that killed a 16 year old girl. The driver allegedly stated that he was tired and felt that he was wandering. The other driver noted that he was weaving in his lane. Chaperones woke up and moved to talk to the driver in an effort to keep the drivers engaged and awake. They made an unscheduled stop and talked about it. Yet, in the end they got back in the bus and pushed on. INACTION The State Patrol also presented its findings from the investigation of the 6 year old Pine River boy who was run over by his school bus. The driver got distracted with a behavioral issue going on his bus while he was crossing a kindergarten student. Instead of getting out of his bus to double check on the student or starting over and checking all of his mirrors, the driver moved his bus and ran over the student. INACTION In 2012, urge your drivers into ACTION. Not inaction. If something is not right, stop. Double check. Don’t assume it will be fine if you push on. Inaction comes from fear. Fear of upsetting a parent, a teacher, a policy maker. Fear of asking too many questions. Fear of doing the wrong thing. Fear of looking like we don’t know the answer. We cannot afford this fear. Our responsibility is too great. Our cargo too precious.

Happy Valetines Day!


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Railroad Crossing Safety Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit national organization created to help raise national awareness on highway-rail grade crossing issues, recently published a six-step school bus driver safety route reminder. Download the poster at: http://oli.org The safety route reminder reviews steps drivers need to take before crossing railroad tracks. The reminder promotes the following behaviors/activities: Drivers should know and recognize the advance warning signs indicating a grade crossing. When approaching a crossing, drivers need to be aware of the traffic around the bus. Drivers should slow down, test their brakes, and activate four-way hazard lights about 200 feet before the crossing. This is to clearly indicate their intentions to stop as most other drivers are not required to stop at an idle crossing and may not realize that the school bus is required to stop regardless of train traffic. Drivers should pull to within 15 feet of the crossing and position the bus for best observation. Once stopped, drivers should follow state and district policy regarding transmission position and brake settings for a stopped bus. To ensure best observation, radios or other equipment should be turned off and passengers asked be quiet. To avoid becoming stuck on the tracks, drivers should know the length of their bus and check beyond the tracks for traffic congestion, a signal, or stop sign that may limit their forward movement. The containment area across the tracks should be large enough to hold the entire bus plus 15 feet. Next, the driver should open the service door and driver’s window to observe and listen in both directions. Trains can travel both ways on the same track. Drivers can proceed after checking the crossing signals. Cross in low gear, and do not attempt to change gears on manual transmissions while crossing. Use extra caution at crossings without gates, flashing lights, or bells. Don't cross tracks unless you can see far enough in both directions and know that no trains are approaching. When a crossing is controlled by a police officer or properly identified railroad flagman, the driver should obey their directions. If the signals are malfunctioning and no flagman is present, drivers should call the dispatcher, report the situation, and determine how to proceed. If the bus stalls or is trapped on the tracks, drivers and passengers should evacuate the bus immediately, and move in the direction from which the train is coming to keep away from the point of impact between the train and the school bus. Operation Lifesaver has partnered with the National Association of Pupil Transportation and the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services to share a colorful school bus driver rail safety tips poster and make available a training video. Go to http://oli.org, and http://www.nasdpts.org for more information and to download the poster and video. “In conjunction with Keystone Insurers Group, this article is brought to you by Harleysville Insurance Company. Harleysville partners with Keystone Insurers Group to bring the best insurance coverages to School Bus Contractors.�


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Scam Alert Shelly Jonas The MSBOA has been hearing about a few scams that have been targeting Minnesota businesses and those that fall under Federal DOT laws concerning drug and alcohol testing. The first scam that has been reported to us is a fax or email that appears to be from Equifax, the credit reporting agency, and seeks sensitive financial information from your company. The letter is worded that your bank’s privacy policy will not allow it to release your financial information to credit rating agencies and government institutions without your consent; therefore you must have such a form on file before your credit score can be procured. It states that the score is now required for federal and state government agencies. It further stated that you should have your business activity code SIC 4151000 (School buses). Even the fax stamp states that it is from the Equifax Admin Dept. The second page asks for bank information and your Federal ID number. A Minnesota contractor fell for this scam. Fortunately an alert banker called to double check on a transfer set up for over $20,000 and they were able to stop the fund transfer. The second scam involves supervisory drug and alcohol compliance. The faxed letter warns that your company is out of compliance with DOT 49 CFR Part 382 mandatory drug and alcohol training and may appear to be from the USDOT. It states that if you pay $99 or $149 for an online course you will be back in compliance. It may even state that this is your 2nd or 3rd Notice. This is not true. Your supervisory drug and alcohol training does not expire, and the USDOT does not require recurrent training (although it is a good idea to revisit the material periodically.) There is a warning posted on the FMSCA website: In recent weeks, we have received numerous inquiries regarding companies using aggressive marketing tactics to sell supervisor training to employers who may be subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s drug and alcohol testing requirements. Please note that the FMCSA is not familiar with these companies nor the training they are offering. 49 CFR §382.603 requires supervisors of CDL drivers to take 60 minutes of training on the symptoms of alcohol abuse and another 60 minutes of training on the symptoms of controlled substances use. The purpose is to qualify supervisors for determining when reasonable suspicion testing is needed. The FMCSA does not certify trainers or training companies, nor does it pre-approve the curriculum presented. Employers are responsible for meeting the training requirement of 49 CFR §382.603 including ensuring that any training company/entity that they purchase training from provides training in the physical, behavioral, speech, and performance indicators of probable alcohol misuse and use of controlled substances. It is up to the employer to select which training to attend, keeping in mind the aforementioned guidelines.


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News and Views A CONTINUING SERIES OF BOARD COMMENTARIES

LIFE’S JOURNEY IS UNPREDICTABLE. PUT SOME CONTROL BACK IN YOUR HANDS By Linnea Weida, Hick’s Bus Service, Inc. Litchfield, MN An advance directive is a legal document that tells your loved ones and doctor how to make important decisions if you're badly hurt or have a serious illness and you can't speak for yourself. What things do you value and what would make life not worth living? The form you complete, describes the kinds of medical care you want or don’t want. Even if you are young and healthy, it’s something you should have. There are two main types of advance directives: • A living will tells your family and your doctor what kinds of treatment you want to receive as you near the end of your life. • A medical power of attorney lets you name a person, health care agent, to make treatment decisions for you when you can't speak for yourself. • As long as you can still make your own decisions, your advance directive won't be used. Four important steps when you write your advance directive: 1. Get the living will and medical power of attorney forms for your state. 2. Choose a trusted person to be your health care agent. 3. Fill out the forms, and have them witnessed as your state requires. 4. Give copies to your family, your doctor, and your health care agent. You can get the forms in a doctor’s office, hospital, law office, governmental office for the aging, or nursing home. You can also get them online created by Caring Connection at www.caringinfo.org or by calling 1-800-658-8898. When you write your advance directive, think about the kinds of treatments that you do or don't want to receive if you get seriously hurt or ill: • CPR, receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation if your heart stops. • Mechanical ventilation, be on a machine that pumps air into your lungs through a tube if you can't breathe on your own. • Kidney dialysis, be on a machine that cleans your blood if your kidneys stop working. • Artificial hydration and nutrition, be fed or get fluids through a tube if you can't eat or drink. • Life prolonging treatments, take medicines to treat serious infections. These are tough choices to make, but you don't have to make them alone. Take your time. Share your questions or concerns about what to include in your advance directive with your Specializing in 2-Way Radio doctor, your lawyer, your family, or a friend. There is valuable information to help you with Sales & Service Since 1948 these decisions on healthpartners.com/healthlibrary. This website can be used by anyone, Authorized Representives for: look under Topics: Advance Directive, Writing an. You can change or cancel your advance directive at any time. Just fill out new forms and get rid of your existing forms. If you change, give everyone an updated copy. A living will is important for you and your family!

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8 Drivers of CMVs: Restricting the Use of Cellular Phones FROM THESE AGENCIES: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), DOT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 1. Q: What is the effective date of the Mobile Telephone rule? A: The effective date of the rule was January 3, 2012. 2. Q: Are wired or wireless earpieces allowed? A: Yes. Hands-free use of a mobile telephone is allowed using either a wired or wireless earpiece, or the speaker phone function of the mobile telephone. Wireless connection of the mobile telephone to the vehicle for hands-free operation of the telephone, which would allow the use of single-button controls on the steering wheel or dashboard, would also be allowed. 3. Q: Is Push-to-Talk allowed? A: No. A driver’s use of the Push-to-Talk function on a mobile telephone violates the prohibition against holding the phone. This includes the continuous holding of a button that is necessary to use a Push-to-Talk feature through a mobile telephone, even when the driver is using a connected microphone or wireless earphone. 4. Q: Are holders of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) subject to the regulation only when driving a CMV, as defined in 49 CFR 383.5, or any vehicle? A: CDL holders are subject to the Federal rule only when driving a CMV. 5. Q: What drivers are covered by the Federal rule: intrastate or interstate? CDL holders? All CMVs? A: The rule covers both drivers of CMVs in interstate commerce and intrastate drivers who operate CMVs transporting a quantity of hazardous materials requiring placarding under 49 CFR Part 172 or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR part 73. If a CMV driver is employed by a State or a political subdivision of a State (e.g. county, city, township, etc.), FMCSA safety regulations do not apply, even if the driver is engaged in interstate transportation. But if a CMV driver employed by a State or a political subdivision of a State is operating a vehicle that requires a CDL, the applicable State traffic laws would govern (e.g., Maryland’s prohibition on the use of hand-held phones). The States have 3 years to implement by State law the disqualification provision. 6. Q: What is required of the employer in terms of company policy or training? A: The rule does not require motor carriers to establish written policies in terms of company policy or training programs for their drivers. However, employers are prohibited from allowing or requiring their drivers to use hand-held mobile phones. A motor carrier may establish policies or practices that make it clear that the employer does not require or allow hand-held mobile telephone use while driving a CMV in interstate commerce. The carrier is responsible for its drivers’ conduct. 7. Q: Is dialing a phone number allowed under this rule? A: No. Dialing a mobile telephone while operating a CMV in interstate commerce is prohibited by the rule. A driver can initiate, answer, or terminate a call by touching a single button on a mobile telephone, earpiece, steering wheel, or instrument panel – comparable to using vehicle controls or instrument panel functions, such as the radio or climate control system. 8. Q: Can a driver reach for a mobile telephone even if he/she intends to use the hands-free function? A: No. In order to comply with this rule, a driver must have his or her mobile telephone located where the driver is able to initiate, answer, or terminate a call by touching a single button while the driver is in the seated driving position and properly restrained by a seat belt. If the mobile telephone is not close to the driver and operable while the driver is restrained by properly installed and adjusted seat belts, then the driver is considered to be reaching for the mobile phone, which is prohibited by the rule. 9. Q: Are tow trucks exempt? A: No. The interstate operation of tow trucks that meet the definition of a CMV are not exempt. Tow trucks, however, are exempt when responding to police emergencies in accordance with 49 CFR 390.23(a)(3).


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Legal Notes

BY THOMAS REVNEW, ESQ., OF SEATON, PETERS & REVNEW

HOTLINE PHONE: (952) 921-4622

Direct Negotiations Of Transportation Contracts Over the past few years, school districts (and their consultants) have increasingly instructed contractors that in order to enter into direct negotiations for a transportation contract, the school district must first send out requests for quotations. In some instances, contractors have also been informed the district must receive two or more written quotations before direct negotiations may commence. In fact, the Minnesota School Board Association recently posted a PowerPoint from a January 2012 training session that seems to imply that before a school district could engage in direct negotiations, it must first obtain two or more quotations for transportation services. See,www.mnmsba.org/Public/MSBA_Docs/QRQuoteMe.pdf?CFID=2106710&CFTOKEN=35984396 While a variety of Minnesota statutes set forth how and when a school district may enter into a contract for goods and services, a review of the Minnesota statute addressing transportation contracts reveals quotations are not required before contractors and school districts engage in direct negotiations. In particular, Minn. Stat. §123B.52, subdiv. 3, which specifically addresses transportation contracts with school districts, provides in pertinent part: Transportation; fuel. . . ., a contract for the transportation of school children . . . may be made by direct negotiation, by obtaining two or more written quotations for the service when possible, or upon sealed bids. At least 30 days before awarding a directly negotiated contract, the district must, by published notice, request quotations for the service to be provided. All quotations obtained must be kept on file for a period of at least one year after receipt. If a contract is made by direct negotiation, all quotations must be public information. If a contract is made upon sealed bids, the procedure for advertising and awarding bids shall conform to the provisions of subdivision 1 except as otherwise provided in this subdivision. Thus, as the statute makes clear, contractors and school districts may reach an agreement through direct negotiations without initially seeking out two or more quotations for services. After direct negotiations are conducted, however, districts are required to request quotes before awarding the contract. On another point, contractors also frequently inquire as to how long a transportation contract can last. While it is common for school districts and contractors to enter into twoyear transportation contracts with the option to extend the contract for an additional two years, the law does not specifically exclude lengthier transportation contracts. In particular, Minn. Stat. §123.52, subdiv. 1, which addresses general school district contracts involving general goods and services, limits the duration of such contracts to a “two plus two” duration. On the other hand, Minn. Stat. §123B.52, subdiv. 3 (which covers transportation contracts) provides an exception to the competitive bidding process outlined in subdivision 1 and does not contain a similar temporal limitation on the duration of contracts. Thus, as Attorney General Mike Hatch opined in a 2003 opinion letter, the term of a transportation contact may be what is reasonable based upon the particular circumstances of each contract. With all written agreements, contractors should carefully consider all provisions set forth in any contract proposal prior to reaching an overall agreement. Further, often times, school districts and/or third party representatives will make representations as to what can and cannot be done legally within a transportation contract. When in doubt as to these representations, contractors should seek legal advice to ensure their business is adequately protected.

Best Values: • Legal Hotline for MSBOA Members • Employee Handbook & Employment Materials Package $875 (Includes 2 hours of attorney time - hourly rates thereafter)

• Drug & Alcohol Testing Package $425 Ask for MSBOA Discount of $100 off above packages Contact Tom Revnew 7300 Metro Blvd., Suite 500 • Minneapolis, MN 55439 Tel 952.896.1700 • Fax 952.896.1704 www.seatonlaw.com


10 MN School Bus Operators Assn Board of Director’s Meeting St. Paul Crowne Plaza Hotel • January 20, 2012 President Doug Grisim called the meeting to order at 3:09. Doug thanked the board for their attendance and recognized the efforts of the executive office for the conference as well as the board members who reached out to the membership. Mission Statement Read. Jim Koonst made a motion to approve the minutes from October 7, 2011 meeting. Connie Grisim seconded. Motion carried. Treasurer’s Report- Suggestion to remove PAC funds from Financial Statements. Doug Grisim presented the video sales check received from the MAPT for $1300. Mike Clark made a motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report. Tom Hey seconded. Motion carried. Legislative Report – Tom Keliher Session starts 1/24/12, will be a compacted session due to February redistricting. State Senate is broke from the change between Senate paid 40 of their staff that were laid out. Lots of incentive to close early this session. Paul Davis will be representing the State Patrol for this legislative session and wants to carry some of MSBOA’s left over bills from last session including Representative Larry Howes 2010 Standards and crossing arm bill. MAPT’s Brad Lundell has some concerns about the crossing arm bill. Legislative committee will review. Lt. Carroll has legislation to remove the words “point” from legislation so that they can go to a pass fail system.

Discussion on school board procedure on bidding. Desire to present at school boards association on appropriate procedures for bidding/contracting. Tom Revnew will address issues in a future newsletter article.

Safety – Raffle permit started. M & M Contract- Settled 11/17.

Background checks discussion – Keliher presented some information on how schools get their background checks. Biodiesel – There is a walking subcommittee of existing exemptions bringing a bill forward to make their exemption permanent. The Agriculture committee is very protective. Local farmers may cause some backlash in rural areas. Discussion about some of the limitations with storage tanks on site and at the local supplier. The weather this year may have allowed for a lack of problems. Hey shared that we have added costs to our operations by changing filters to make sure that we didn’t have an issue. Suppliers have admitted when they have bad batches and helped correct the problem. Moved to committee for further discussion. Legal Counsel – Tom Revnew distributed a bulletin of legal updates. Fielding questions regarding contract procedures. NRLB posting has been delayed so that posters do not have to be put up until April, if at all. NRLB is seeking to speed up the election process such that you have about 10 days to respond to an election. Lyle Hicks had suggested putting together brief tidbits about unionization for safety meetings. Often employees sign a card and they didn’t realize what they were signing and are unable to revoke that signature. Recommendation for film on Little Card, Big Trouble. Committee Reports

Reporting requirements changed by MAPT 2010 legislation is causing superintendants to believe they would have to bid out their contract. Legislative committee will meet with MAPT or MDE staff and attempt to remedy.

Promotion/Expansion – Billboards out there, Lt. Carroll nixed the MSBOA logo idea.

Conference – Top notch conference put together. Membership – Discussion on getting more members.

Continued on page 11.


11 MSBOA Board Minutes Continued from Page 10. PAC Report – Generated $9000 thus far. Wrote checks to 24 legislators for $200 each as recommended by Tom Keliher. 2/3 of the checks went to the local operator to hand deliver. The other 1/3 were sent directly to the legislator with a letter. Some times legislators get PAC’d out and they suggest who else to send the money. MSBA Conference – Went very well. Lots of interest in contracted transportation. Very well worth it. OPTS – Eddie Carroll retiring in February. Statute doesn’t state that the position goes to a Lt. Opportunity to help bring the new person up to speed. New person should be on the job by February 29. Paul Davis will be the legislative session liaison. Safety and Compliance Outreach – March 14th, Mankato. March 21, Blaine. March 28, Brainerd. Transit letter from State Patrol dated January 5th discussed. Individual Reports – Those attending the Wild Game may wish to stick around to discuss issues. Tom Hey made a motion to adjourn. Josh Schiffler seconded. Meeting adjourned at 4:30 pm.

Joe Beaton Scholarship Applications Due April 15, 2012!

The Joe Beaton MSBOA Scholarship was established in 2001 to honor Joe Beaton, the MSBOA’s former attorney and lobbyist. Beaton was a passionate supporter of education, as well as the Humane Society and various other causes. Children or grandchildren of school bus drivers, mechanics, contractors or drivers themselves may apply. Unlike other scholarships, this is not restricted to high school seniors. The Scholarship is open to anyone who is interested in furthering their education. The application is enclosed in the newsletter and is due on April 15, 2012. Applications should be mailed to 10606 Hemlock St. NW, Annandale MN 55302


MSBOA Planner Save these Dates!

Minnesota School Bus Safety Committee Meets 3rd Weds. of Every Month Locations Vary Contact: LeAnn Livingston 651-982-8193

Transportation Issues Study Committee Meets 4th Weds. of Every Month Contact: Keith Paulson 763-506-1132

Office of Pupil Transportation Stakeholders Quarterly Meetings Held, Dates Vary Contact: Lt. Edward Carroll 651-405-6047

SAFETY & COMPLIANCE OUTREACH March 14, Mankato March 21, Blaine March 28, Brainerd MORE INFORMATION TO COME!

June 10-12th, 2012 MSBOA Summer Conference Chase on the Lake Walker, MN

In This Issue: From the President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Legal Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 News and Views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

MSBOA 10606 Hemlock St. NW Annandale, MN 55302

MN State Patrol Contacts Listed to the right is contact information for the state troopers in charge of school bus transportation. Use this contact information! They are ready to help with any questions or concerns you may have!

Northern Region Sergeant James Senenfelder Northern Regional Trooper Phone (612) 360-5172 E-mail: james.senenfelder@state.mn.us Metro Region Sergeant Paul Davis Metro / Central Regional Trooper Phone (612) 685-4820 E-mail: paul.davis@state.mn.us Southern Region Sergeant Chad Dauffenbach Southern Regional Trooper Phone (507) 430-0791 E-mail: chad.dauffenbach@state.mn.us

Feb 2012 Operator  

Conference wrap up, RR safety, Scam Alert, Direct Negotiations, CMV Cell phone use

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