I just wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that the West Orange Ridership Community received a phone response to our email, addressed to you, from Mr. Lepore. Mr. Lepore conveyed his apologies for the situation and explained that there appears to be some lack of responsiveness from the Occupational Center in his office's attempts to communicate with them. Mr. Lepore also went on to discuss the sensitive nature of the relationship between the town and the Occupation Center, and the other contracts the Center has with the town. For example the Occupational Center is contracted to perform the recycling duties, which I believe they do an excellent job.
Because it was late in the day, I had to catch my train, but indicated that the Ridership Community was consolidating an issues list that we would like to discuss in the near future.
There is currently a log of the Ridership's Comments in this weblog here. I urge you to take a moment and read it.
The W.O. Ridership Community would like to stress, that while there may be many issues that we would like to address in the future, it is of utmost importance to resume the consistent and reliable service we have come to know and trust in the past. As funny as this may sound, I left to catch my train after speaking with Mr. Lepore, and arrived at the Orange station to find that no shuttle was waiting there. I thought Mr. Lepore and the Occupational Center had come to an accord, since earlier that day (the morning runs) the shuttles were running on time. I was disappointed to find out that this morning, Wednesday Novemeber 16th, the runs did not occur again.
We can only hope and see what occurs this afternoon.
Mr. Mayor, I believe one of the key concerns is the lack of communications between 4 bodies. They are, the Ridership Community, the Township of West Orange, the Occupational Center and I will isolate the drivers as their own group, since it appears the Occupational Center does not look after them. For example one of the best drivers James Jones recently had his pay reduced, and then the Center reduced his hours. This Last Monday (11/16), the Center then asked for the keys from Mr. Jones and told him to leave. I was, not any of the Ridership Community there to witness this, but Mr. Jones is no longer driver for us. I was a witness however when Mr. Jones came to the stations and offered rides to the people left starnded using his personal automobile.
I can say that Mr. Jones has handled himself, for all the time I've know him, as a very reliable, very friendly and courteous driver. It is not our place as the Ridership Community to involve ourselves in the matter of how the drivers are managed, but it is in our interest that the township be aware of what is happening at the Occupational center, and become involved in addressing the Ridership Communities issues. Retention of good quality drivers is near the top of this list.
Aside from the need for immediate resumption of service, we would like to ask of you to share your thoughts on the best manner of increasing the communications between the parties involved. As I have mentioned all of the Ridership Community have a single place to voice their concern (the weblog), in a public domain, so you may have the opportunity to look in and see what is happening on a day to day basis. Further, the Ridership Community, will prepare communications like this to you so we can keep you abreast of the status of the service.
The Ridership Community is providing an avenue of communication. If you have any other suggestions on how we can communicate with you, we would be most appreciative of your suggestions. Now that just leaves the three other bodies. We would like to know how the township will communicate with the Ridership Community. Also, while it would not be our place to request how and when your communications with the Occupational Center is to occur, it is important for us to know that it is occurring. If it is not, as it appears today, we would like you to communicate to us what your action plan is to resolve this matter.
We are here to partner with the township and to turn a valuable asset back in to the jewel it once was.
Thanks again for your time
6 Undercliff Terrace
(973) 802-2816 (Bus)
(973) 736-2791 (Eve)
P.S. Thanks for the Exercise.