Sunday, September 30, 2007

Another Example Of Lack Of Mayoral Leadership

The Star's "Behind Closed Doors" column draws attention to the fact that Mayor Peterson could have administratively ordered the end of take-home cars for non-public safety officers as part of the "budget cuts" he announced this past summer to deal with the city's budget mess; instead, he is awaiting council action on the matter. The column item reads:

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.


Anonymous said...

"To be honest, we're having trouble even tracking the number of county take-home vehicles," Clifford said.
I think that is bull..every city/county vehicle and LEASED vehicle has a gas card assigned.
You mean to tell me that the departments do not track fuel usage?
Or are they just handing out keys to employees and it's up to the employees to but their own fuel? Maybe that would explain why they can't track the vehicles.
Better yet, just how much of taxpayers money is being spent on leased vehicles? And why?
I would think it would be a savings to do away with leased vehicles.
The employees making bottom dollar are not getting this perk. It's those making the big bucks!

Anonymous said...

Here's the simple truth:

Until the County Commissioners were controlled by Democrats (1-1-07), the county side of the budget was a complete mystery in many respects.

Take-home cars controlled by elected county officeholders, therefore, were never part of the mayor's domain.

Until now.

Nothing deceptive about that, Gary.

Anonymous said...

Wilson should come out of hiding beind Anonymous.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Can't track take home vehicles? Do they even know how many vehicles are in the fleet? How many have disappeared or been stolen?