At the CCM on May 24 Councilwoman Van Houten brought a resolution to stop employees from taking cars home at night. This is something that the council has been trying to do for years. She said that since she ran for city council she said that only the Chief of police, The Fire Chief and the Mayor should be taking home cars at night.
I thought the Mayor’s head was going to pop off his shoulders the first words out of his mouth were not I understand that we need to make some changes in-order to save money. He did not say I under stand the tax payers do not want employees to take home cars. No he did not say that, he did not say I look forward to saving the city money he said nothing even close to that.
What he did do the little bitter man that he is was point that finger of his turn red in the face and say this is irresponsible. You are irresponsible pointing his finger at councilwoman Van Houten. What followed was a typical Mayor tirade going on to say that the council was micro managing and this was not in essence their business. Something that Councilman Berry parroted right on cue no big surprise there. Councilman Berry started to lecture the council on the fact that their job is to trim the budget, well Councilman part of that is to save money anywhere you can including taking the cars from people to take home.
The Mayor, if you could under stand him after saying I do not know how many times that it was irresponsible that wait for it if the cars could not go home with people the council was jeopardizing the lives of the residents. He was not talking about the chief of police or the fire chief. He was talking about DPW workers who take cars home at night, because, from what I could tell something to do with a water main break’s winter and freezing. The residents are put in danger and the council was risking our lives by asking that the dam cars be parked at night.
What did the Mayor use as an example for the Parks and Recreation Department to take home their car’s? Well a light left on, he said that if there is a light left on at one of the buildings at a park then they have to get in their cars to go over there and turn it off. How in the hell is that jeopardizing the residents lives? A light left on is the reason for the taxpayers to spend thousands on maintaining these cars for the recreation department to take home. While most of the council was interested in saving money councilman Berry made sure to let all of us know he was meeting with a company that could manage the usage of the cars for the city. Yep hire a company to do this for the city spend who knows how much. I suppose that is not micro managing is it Councilman Berry? Oh no not at all. I thought the Idea was to save money? Remember this resolution said that they could not take car’s home at night. Not that they could not use a city car during working hours. The whole idea was to stop employees from using these cars for personal use and let us not forget we have one in the city that does not even own a car. Ther only form of transportation is on our DIME their gas, their car insurance, and the maintenance of the car all on the taxpayers.This car was used by this person to go to their second job but that is not a violation at all right?
Councilman Berry kept saying that they (the council) can not signal out individual employees that is not right. Well the resolution did not say that a certain someone only can not take a car home. The resolution said no cars can be taken home Mr. Berry I guess you are more interested in keeping the administration happy, than worrying about how the residents feel about this.
Even the most advent supporter of the Mayor can not watch this meeting with out thinking to themselves that this is wrong. Not one person could answer the question of how many cars are taken home with employees not even the Mayor could give a number. He has a relatively accurate idea of how many car’s go home, but did not give the number. Having a relatively accurate idea is not the same as knowing down to the car how many are taken home. How many are taken home by the police officers how many taken by DPW and not to mention department heads some who live out side of the city.
In the end it was tabled to go for study session to give each of the department heads the chance to come and plead their case for taking home cars.