Roughly four months after Broward’s start to the school year was disrupted by widespread school bus problems, the man who once led Broward’s bus drivers has announced his resignation.
Transportation Director Chester Tindall arrived about a year ago, tasked with turning around a long-troubled department that had been criticized for nepotism and routinely ran tens of millions of dollars over budget.
Tindall indeed shook things up — dismissing some employees and overhauling how the department handled tasks such as assigning routes to drivers. Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, who had worked with Tindall in Chicago, was one of his biggest supporters.
But Runcie found it increasingly difficult to justify his support after the school year began with weeks of disastrous bus service. The problems included late buses, no-show buses, and even one instance in which a bus driver dropped off a group of middle school students seven miles from their homes.
Tindall’s critics blamed his harsh management style for causing the dysfunction in Broward’s bus service. Tindall could not be reached Tuesday for comment.
Amid public calls for his ouster, Tindall announced in September he would take a medical leave, and Runcie at that time predicted that Tindall would soon depart the district altogether.
Instead, Tindall — while no longer running the transportation department — continued working there for months, helping to draw up a proposal to add GPS navigation service to Broward’s bus fleet. Runcie last week suggested creating a new position for Tindall — an idea met with significant criticism.
Asked why Tindall called it quits, Runcie said, “He probably felt that he didn’t want to continue being a distraction.”