Monroe Dispatch - No Struggle, No Progress

Monroe Transit Fix


There is a struggle for the soul of Monroe Transit between the city and the working men and women who drive and maintain the buses, as a line seemed to be drawn in the sand. At one time, the level of service by Monroe Tran- sit was good enough to earn a national award back in 2008. Now as we flash forward to 2018, a lot of questions are being asked about it, like how did the level of service in the mind of many riders, decrease? It is poor service from the drivers that greet daily riders, many of whom know their driver well? It is the condition of the buses, some of which probably needs to be replaced? Could it be misplaced leadership coming from managers who oversee the daily operations of Monroe Transit? Have the firing of dozens of employees over the years contrib- uted to an atmosphere of open hostility, where current employees feel that they can’t say any- thing without fear of reprisal? There is no question that there are serious labor problems occurring at Monroe Transit that need to be addressed.

It is times such as these, that em- ployees who show up everyday, look to some- one at the top to take a “hands on” approach to turn steer the ship in a new direction from which it is headed. All of the former employees that worked at Mon- roe Transit agree that it is the intimidation and harassment factors that has contributed to unsettling changes on the job because of one individual. That one person who oversees the daily operations of Mon- roe Transit has been inconspicuously absent from city council meet- ings. Why? There are department heads from Fire, Engineering, Po- lice, Code Enforcement and Legal on hand to answer questions that members of the city council may not have readily available.

That can also occur during the “audience participa- tion” period after the regular meeting is over, where citizens can voice their opinions, or ask questions that they believe are important. during the period when the city was contemplat- ing changes in Monroe Transit concerning a fare increase, Marc keenan was “front and center” at council meet- ings. He would explain in details what the plans were for the transit sys- tem. But now, keenan has been a “no show” at council meetings since employees have been coming forth in the me- dia, bringing attention to what has gone on, and what is continu- ing to go on at Monroe Transit. Give Mayor Mayo credit, he is willing to face those that bring their concerns to City Hall during council meet- ings where angry words are sometimes said, but Mayo will maintain his composure the major- ity of the time.

There are those that believe Keenan’s goal is to bust the union. They point to the facts that Keenan has made policy changes that were not reflected in the contract. Sources tell the Dispatch that Keenan has disrespected employ- ees on many occasions, one in which a qualified employee was denied a job, only to see it go to someone else who was not qualified. Employees feel that as long as Keen- an is at Monroe Transit, their hands are tied. They maintain that if a com- plaint is lodged against Keenan, nothing is done after a so-called investi- gation by legal or Human Resources. But the prob- lems still persist. Perhaps if Keenan shows up at city council meetings, he may give answers to the public and council mem- bers, as to why there is so much turmoil at Monroe Transit. The questions are just that important. We still have a ways to go.


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