The news that the Peterson administration is pushing an ordinance to eliminate take-home cars for hundreds of city and county employees prompted many to wonder why the Indianapolis mayor wasn't taking action administratively rather than relying on a City-County Council vote. So we asked Mayor Bart
His response: A council-backed ordinance will make it easier to get the job done.
That's because the city only assumed authority over county budgets two years ago and, according to Peterson and city Controller Bob Clifford, has occasionally run into resistance from separately elected county officials in administration efforts to increase accountability.
"To be honest, we're having trouble even tracking the number of county take-home vehicles," Clifford said.
So, Clifford said, the city took the ordinance route to ensure the new policy applies to county offices, which do not answer to the mayor except at budget time.
Tom John, the GOP county chairman, wasn't impressed.
"That's a perfect example of failed leadership," John said. "This is the mayor looking for someone to blame when his people complain that their perk was taken away."
The council expects to vote Oct. 8 on the proposal, which would eliminate the perk for about 400 city and county employees who drive less than 10,000 business-miles per year.
I guess what the Mayor is really trying to say is that he didn't want to be the person to blame for city and county employees losing their take-home car privileges. He'll let the council do the dirty work for him, but you can bet his campaign will take credit for the potential millions in savings the move will mean for the city's budget, sort of like the same way he took credit for Gov. Mitch Daniels' decision to order a reassessment in Marion County.