Green Operations

Coalition Wants Trenton Fleet Downsized

November 02, 2009

TRENTON, NJ - A group of residents who forced the former police director to resign and sued to roll back allegedly improper pay raises is now pushing the City of Trenton to reduce the size of its vehicle fleet, according to The Times of Trenton.

Members of the Trenton Residents Action Coalition (TRAC) recently submitted an ordinance to the city clerk which, if approved by the city council or the voters, would make the city keep an inventory of its vehicles and require some employees to give up their city-owned cars.

Acting business administrator Dennis Gonzalez created a plan to reduce the number of take-home vehicles to 24 from 67 after city council raised the issue of the fleet's cost last year.

Not counting police employees, 20 to 22 city workers now take their cars home, including eight department directors, four water-and-sewer employees, five fire department staffers, some inspectors and the mayor. Certain employees in the inspections, fire and police departments are given take-home vehicles during periods when they are on call for emergencies, Gonzalez said.

Attorney George Dougherty, the author of the proposed ordinance, said his goal was to see the city not just reduce use of take-home vehicles, but to abandon the current system where employees drive to work in their personal car and then use a city vehicle during the day. Instead, an employee would use his own vehicle all day and submit mileage for reimbursement, which Dougherty contended would save the city the cost of employing staff to maintain its fleet.

Gonzalez would be responsible for requiring other employees to use their personal vehicles "on a cost-reimbursement basis."

Forester said TRAC submitted the proposed ordinance as a petition with more than 720 voter signatures. Council has the option of approving the ordinance first. If it does not, the measure could appear on the ballot during next May's council and mayoral election, reported the Times.

 

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