Friday, September 28, 2007

Finally, Someone Is Talking About Real Savings

The City of Indianapolis is finally taking seriously the idea of saving money by ending take home car privileges for non-public safety workers. The Star's Brendan O'Shaughnessy and Bill Ruthhart report on the millions in savings for the city:

Indianapolis hopes to soon save millions of dollars by eliminating a long-standing perk for about 400 city and county employees: vehicles they can take home after hours.

City Controller Bob Clifford estimated the new approach would save the city
at least $6 million in replacement vehicle costs every four or five years. The change could save an additional $250,000 annually in gas, maintenance and accident repairs.

The proposal, which goes before the City-County Council on Oct. 8, would not affect police officers -- only non-emergency vehicles used by employees who log fewer than 10,000 business miles a year.

The city and county own about 3,000 vehicles in all, including 231 take-home vehicles driven by city employees ranging from building inspectors and road engineers to a Public Works spokeswoman and the city's Latino affairs director. The county has an additional 420 or so cars and vehicles it lets non-emergency personnel take home.

The story notes that city employees aren't allowed to use these vehicles for personal use, but the city hasn't bothered to take steps to monitor vehicle use until this past July according to City Controller Bob Clifford. Although the article doesn't mention her by name, City-County Councilor Angela Mansfield is the council member who brought this initiative forward.

24 comments:

varangianguard said...

This ought to be a no-brainer. Except for the Mayor alone, no other non-emergency personnel should have a City vehicle.

This should be extended to non-field personnel in the IMPD, MCSD and IFD as well. For example, any argument for a Deputy Chief (without a job title) needing a City vehicle to perform his/her "duties" rings very hollow during a budgetary crisis in City-County government.

Anonymous said...

Will da boss Mayor be taking away take home cars for his various "deputy mayors"? And why does his public safety director drive around in an Expedition? I'd like to know the last time he was called in from home to perform some public safety director need!!!!

Why does Sweet Pea Monroe Gray have a take-home city car????????

Anonymous said...

Why does the secretary at the Marion County Coroner's office need a take home car? It is a huge ripoff to the taxpayers that she(Hall) gets a car to commute to work in. There is absolutely no reason for her to have one and that goes for Fulp there as well.

Anonymous said...

Long overdue.

Angela Mansfield is probably the best member of the CCC.

They should have credited her...(?)

Anonymous said...

Sheriff's dept lease vehicles from National Car Rental. MCSD unit #3 has worked the 'security' for National for many many years. A known fact. What was 'rumored' a few years back was as many 2 dozen cars, suvs, etc were leased at a cost of 700$ a month per vehicle. If true do the math. Thats a lot of $$$$ going to leased vehicles. Many many years ago the brass just drove unmarked cars, including the sheriff.
The above comment in this reply was talk going around the dept.....however it would be nice if somehow it could be confirmed or denied and laid to rest.
But there sure were a lot of higher ups driving Yukons, Tahoes etc.
So I'm one to think there was a sweetheart deal of some type.

Anonymous said...

"Angela Mansfield is probably the best member of the CCC."

I'll disagree. She has some rather far-left ideas like her firearms ban she tried to pass but failed. But as they say even blind squirrels occasionally find a nut.

Anonymous said...

Non-public-safety personnel can easily commute to a motorpool or central location, then use a city-owned vehicle. It does take time, and is less efficient, but for many of the city employees I've observed, you won't be able to tell if their efficiency drops from 65% to 50% or so.

If a snowstorm or some other more-"planable" event arises, a temporary concession could be made.

Now, something should be done about: public safety employees, who use their city cars for personal business (which is probably OK), who disobey traffic laws BIG time. I've reported several, and I'm told those complaints are discarded.

One police officer who lives in my neighborhood drives like a maniac constantly. His heavy foot is dangerous, and, frankly, if you know anything about gas mileage,
it's costing us money.

For those city employees who are whining, like the goofball in today's Star who drives a minivan, here's a proposition: the benefit can be taxed, you know, just like normal income. The fire officer in today's paper threatens to leave if he cannot keep his take-home car.

There's the door, pal.

While we tqxpayers probably under-appreciate the city employees' service, there is a budget crisis out there. We gave at the office, so to speak, with a COIT increase. It's time for the employees to give some, too.

Anonymous said...

Well, this is the future of government, at least here in Indiana. Some of these folks should be lucky they still have a job. With money getting tight, and even more tighter in the future, cuts like these just have to be made. The take home car benefit has went from a worth of around $5,000/year to about $8,000/year, mostly due to increased gas prices. The biggest benefit of a take home car is actually something these folks never see: The liability issue. I would love for my employeer to take on the liability for me if I am involved in a wreck. Considering the number of uninsured folks in Indy who are driving, I would like not having to worry about dinging my insurance driving to and from work when one of these people drive into me.

Anonymous said...

Let me make sure I understand this...

Bob Clifford says that right now, the city pays 31 cents/mile for take-home vehicles.

After taking them away, they will pay employees 43 cents/mile for reimbursment.

So despite costing 12 cents/mile more, it is a 5 cent savings.

Sounds like bart math to me.

Wilson46201 said...

So then when will Ballard come out loudly with a news release denouncing this cost-saving measure if it's "bart math"???

"bart lies" as a campaign slogan has long passed its expiration date!

Anonymous said...

Hey, 9:07, you genius, put down your Abacus, get your fingers out of your nose, and pay attention:

A common business practice, employed and explained by Mr. Clifford in the news article, if you'll take the time to read and understand it, is the depreciation of vehicles. That's a cost.

When depreciation is computed, it is a savings.

End of remedial economics lesson.

And the poster above, who brought up liability, is spot-on. There are three people in my office who've been involved in minor, if expensive, traffic accidents since July. None of the other drivers had insurance. It is a growing trend that the license branches aren't checking closely enough when we renew our plates. I just renewed mine: they asked me for my insurance information, and I spouted off the numebrs from my insurance card: the clerk did not even look up. I could've given her nonsense, and she'd have gone right on with my license plate renewal. There's no stop-gap check.

In my example above, if all three of those fellow employees had been city employees, using their estimates, the city would be out about $14,000 for repairs. And there were no injuries in any of these accidents, thankfully, which would've greatly icnreased the bills.

The bigger travesty, buried in the article, is that the city didn't even start checking on the extent of mileage used, until this summer.

Anonymous said...

Why not put GPS tracking systems on all city/county vehicles. This will track when,where and how these vehicles are used. There are plenty of fire department and police/sheriff personnel that don't need take home cars.

indyernie said...

""bart lies" as a campaign slogan has long passed its expiration date!"

Facts Wilson not myth. You know Ballard has nothing to do with "Bart Lies!".

When has it ever been Ballard's campaign slogan?
When has Ballard ever spoken those words?

The slogan was adopted by those involved with Hoosiers for Honesty In Government, a political action committee here in Indy.

Has Mayor Peterson deigned the claim that "BART LIES!"? No! He can't deign the truth.
Wilson you can spread lies and innuendos all you want. Thankfully folks in both parties know you to be less than truthful.

Anonymous said...

Wilson is just trespassing thru the tulips again....you are banned from this blog, Wilson.

Wilson46201 said...

Oh oh oh - my anonymous stalker is back again. Why is she so obsessed with me? She doesnt care what the topic of a thread is - she is simply fascinated by my presence!

Anonymous said...

Ernie, for the love of God, learn how to spell.

Anonymous said...

You are all missing the point. The reason the mayor stepped up about the take home vehicles is because it was going to come out in a few days. also, the mayor is only ordering civilians to turn in their vehicles. sworn administrative police and firefighters are keeping their vehicles. just ask sweetpea and vern the 2 idiots with out a fire department job discription

Anonymous said...

and anyone want to guess how many vehicles are assigned to fart peterpuffer?

try FOUR

Anonymous said...

Hey Wilson. Why aren't you at Methodist hospital sitting at the bed side of the Old Hag!
Does she know your blogging and your head is actually out of Andre's ass for a few minutes?

Anonymous said...

Wilson,
\Since we are on the subject of take home vehicles. Remember when
Vern Brown crashed his city car into a tree after leaving a party drunk at the Athletic club. IPD investigated the accident and somehow it was all covered up...

Wilson46201 said...

"fart peterpuffer"

"Old Hag"


Classy, intelligent blog you're running here, Gary. You are such a credit to the Republican Party!

Advance Indiana said...

It's rather presumptuous of you, Wilson, to think you possess any class yourself.

Anonymous said...

Wilson, let me remind you: Gary BANNED you from this blog. You are a trespasser.

If you don't like it, leave...after all, the blog owner has previously asked you to!!!!!!!!

Wilson46201 said...

Anonymous nobody: when did Gary Welsh die and leave you as blogmistress? He is an adult and perfectly capable of running his own show here. You seem to be so fascinated by my presence - you distract and detract from civilized conversation. You hide your identity - you are just another nameless face in a shadowy crowd of nonentities. Why should anybody take anything you say seriously?