METHUEN, MA - City of Methuen Mayor William Manzi has issued an executive order effective Jan. 1 banning all city employees from take-home vehicle use, excluding himself and several city department heads.

In response to what he is calling "a worsening financial crisis," Manzi stated only he and Police Chief Katherine Lavigne, Fire Chief Steven Buote, and Department of Public Works Director Raymond DiFiore will be allowed to keep their city-owned cars after hours.

"All employees who drive a city vehicle during the course of their employment must park that vehicle in a city lot at the end of their shift. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment," Manzi wrote in the Dec. 22 executive order.

Manzi estimated the policy can save up to $10,000 a year, reported the Eagle Tribune.

The Tribune said approximately 22 city employees will lose their take-home vehicles as a result, including the city's recreation director, three tree department workers, and three police captains.