Ben Franklin Transit Board Ends Tax Cut Talk For Good
After 15 months of discussion the Ben Franklin Transit Board has voted to kill the talks of cutting the tax collection.
The decision happened after the Board met for an hour and half at a workshop where they heard heartfelt testimony from Interim BFT manager Ed Frost. Frost spoke directly to the board about how the continued talk of cutting the service has affected the staff.
“The morale in this company is very, very poor. Some of you some of you know people that work here just ask them why because they are very, very concerned about what the future holds for employees and Ben Franklin transit.”
The regular meeting was held the next evening. After the pledge was conducted, Board Member Richard Bloom made a surprise motion to remove the tax cut line item from the agenda permanently and the motion was passed by the majority of the board.
This was an unexpected move and for Caleb Suttle, the Union representative on the board, it was an important vote. Suttle says the vote relieved a lot of stress of the younger drivers that were in training and for the older drivers who felt they were on the chopping block. Now they can focus on other things.
Suttle explains: “We need to make this place way more efficient. And I think they’re going to bring the perspective of the drivers.now our drivers don’t need to worry about their jobs anymore. And they also are going to feel like their voices heard, and that they can actually contribute rather than just move the vehicle around the Tri Cities. So I think morale is gonna go up in several different ways.”
The BFT Board is planning on implementing several measures to make the buses more efficient. They are also talking about making rides to the Benton Franklin County Fair free for all riders.