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Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Ballard Follows Layton's Lead On Fuel Charges On City Take-Home Vehicles
It's astonishing that it's taken Mayor Greg Ballard this long to come around to the view that all city employees, including police officers, should contribute towards the fuel costs of their take-home vehicles, but he's finally conceded the change is necessary after Sheriff John Layton announced yesterday that employees of his department would start contributing towards the monthly fuel costs of their take-home cars. WRTV's Jack Rinehart is reporting that the Ballard administration is working on a plan that would go before the city-county council to implement the new changes. The administration tells Rinehart that city attorneys are being careful to devise a plan that it hopes will avoid legal pitfalls that other cities have faced in implementing similar policies. FOP President William Owensby says his members are supportive of the move.
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Actually, the city has had such an arrangement in place for a couple of years. The FOP does not know why the city did not begin using it.
Yeah, fuel reimbursements were suppose to kick in automatically when gas prices went above a certain level. Ballard deliberately never implemented it. It was a jackass idea of Ben Hunter to head off a more sensible policy that most every other major city in America has in place.
That's not true. The surcharge was taken off the table when the city realized that there were lawsuits filed in other cities that have similar statutes in effect. In addition, our statute was so poorly written that no one could figure out exactly what "$3/Gallon" meant. $3 what the city pays? $3 at the Shell at 38/High School, or $3 at the Speedway at 56/Emerson?
DPS was able to keep fuel mileage down to stay under budget for the past 2 or 3 years which helped them not have to implement it.
Not to change the subject, but why hasn't there been any coverage of the $20 million a year or so that we have to pay out in overtime for IFD's Kelly Day? I like the extensive coverage on the surcharge, and yet everybody's too frightened to bring up the Kelly Day "parity" that they receive for the take-home cars. It makes the media come across as either uninformed or anti-police when all they rant about is fuel surchages but don't even realize the same "perk" on IFD costs the city far more in a given year...
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