Gentle readers and fellow finger-pointers, inquiring minds, and searchers of truth...
I'm not going to turn this into a spreadsheet set of calculations, but there is a case to be made that teachers, cooks, janitors, and maintenance personnel driving school buses for part of the day actually SAVES the county taxpayers money... PROVIDED THAT appropriate internal timekeeping controls exist, and to ensure the bus-driving wages are paid in accordance with the legally-compliant compensation plans approved by the Board.
I don't know the rules, but it's plausible that bus drivers are paid by the day or route (not by the hour). If good weather allows a bus route to be completed in 45 minutes, but in snowy weather the route takes 60 minutes, I'm guessing the driver doesn't get paid for an extra 15 minutes work. Bottom line, taxpayers should ask first... how are bus drivers compensated, by the hour or by the day/route? If the answer is the latter, then there is no issue here. If the answer is the former, and the bus drivers are fudging their time cards, then let the 'cards'(no pun intended) fall where they may.
The savings to which I alluded to earlier in this post come from having one less employee (bus driver) to maintain on the payroll. There is an inherent cost associated with recordkeeping, insurances, administration, reporting, and all the statutory baloney that comes with hiring a person, no matter the job. If you allow an existing employee to drive a bus rather than hiring someone new, then you save that 'overhead' or 'burden' and that is a plus.
Lastly, my opinion in having County Supervisors also being employees of the county is definitely going to go against common practice, not just for Hawkins County, but for many rural counties where the good-ole-boy-n-girl network remains the established norm. County Supervisors should NOT be employees of the County UNLESS and UNTIL rules exist or are created that those supervisors who are also employees cannot vote on any budgetary decisions, compensation decisions, personnel actions (hiring/firing), or any other possible conflicts of interest that may come before the governance boards. From a standpoint of transparency and eliminating the appearance of conflicts of interest, those that set tax rates, develop and approve budgets, authorize appropriations and expenditures, and make hiring/firing/disciplinary decisions related to personnel should NOT be in a position to benefit from their own decisions, not even a little bit.
The reason we let it continue in Hawkins County comes down to a few factors, lack of a fully informed voter base, lack of interest by too many voters, poor understanding of the taxation/budgeting/spending process and how it affects individual taxpayers, and general don't-give-a-tinkers-cuss attitude towards government. Everyone complains, but few even understand how the machinery works.
Yeah, I live in a dream world, but that's my take.
Opposing viewpoints always welcomed. Don't applaud, just throw quarters.