Six years ago or so when I first heard that some department heads getting to take city cars home I was shocked. My exact words to a former employee “are you kidding me you mean to tell me the taxpayers pay for this?” I went on to say, “why are you getting cars to take home at night?” This person went on to tell me that they are not supposed to use the car for personal use, but if they do they have to claim the mileage. Okay and who monitors that? NO ONE each person just has to report it. Well does everyone report it? The answer to that question was some more than others. I asked many questions during that discussion I remember walking away from that exchange very unhappy, but not knowing what if anything I could do about it. That was over six (6) years ago.
Fast forward to now and the council has passed a resolution to park the cars after working hours. There are several things that I noticed during the study session of the cars. One for the first time this city has an assistant who does not own their own car. There is no law that say’s that they must have a car that’s fine, but when councilwoman Badalow demanded an answer from the assistant to how many personal miles she averages during a week on the city car? She could not answer she could not say, does not know back and forth it went and she would not answer. Councilwoman Badalow had got the information and she said that from August of 2010 to March of 2011 she put down that she only used 15 personal miles. A seven month span of time and she only used the car for 15 personal miles. Remember they fill out their own miles it is left up to each person to do this with honesty after all we are dealing with honest professional people here right?
There was one department head that said their car is paid for by federal grant money, but did not bring one piece of paper showing any reimbursement for a car on a monthly basis from that grant. The city is allowed 20% of the grant to go to administering that grant. A car being paid for from grant money and used for city business would be a violation of that grant. This department head goes on to say that they go to many events at night (they pay for those tickets $50-100 each ticket) if you are using a city car to go to an event that has nothing to do with the grant and administering it that is a violation. The former head of that department never said anything to the council about that car being paid for from “grant money” before this. I would say that is not something you want to keep saying I think the city would be better served not to run around on the record saying these thing and putting our grant money in jeopardy.
One more thing I would like to point out, every time I hear “this is paid for from a grant or that is paid for from a grant and it is not coming from city money.” Everyone makes you feel as if this is some how some anonymous donor dropping millions at our city door step.. People this is still taxpayer money only on a federal level same for city money. The “city money” is taxpayer money all of it is coming from taxpayers.
Now there is a new rule passed by the council only re-enforcing what the charter say’s how many are going to abide by that rule? At least a couple have decided not to park the city car. That is shameful and a violation of the charter and resolution passed by City Council. So what happens to those that decide to thumb their noses at the Council, taxpayers, and the Charter? Mr. Mayor when you sat on that council when you chaired that council you would have never ever allowed any other administration to violate the charter and break the rules the way you have. What has happened to you? I do not re-call any former Mayor ever doing things like this to the council or the taxpayers. I do not recall any Mayor showing such out right contempt for a Council.
- No More Car’s.. (dearbornheights.wordpress.com)