Monday, November 24, 2008

Use of Government Vehicles

It has come to light that the director of the Fayette County Detention Center has been driving a government car to his home in Louisville for over four years. That is four years of around 160 miles a day in a behemoth of a gas guzzler, the spacious eight cylinder Ford Crown Victoria, alone by himself. Is it no wonder that Lexington has a huge carbon footprint with this kind of thing going on.

Lexington, at one time had the states largest fleet of hybrid vehicles for use as pool cars. This fleet has been decimated by council action after the management audit done by Management Partners Inc. and delivered in February 2008. Yet nowhere in this report does the company give their assessment of the use of a vehicle by the jailer and the excessive amount of miles driven. By a conservative guess, assuming 80 miles from Lexington to Louisville each way, five times a week and 48 weeks a year, I come up with 38,000 miles a year. Times four years and you get 152,000 miles driven at less than optimum gas mileage, approx. 21-25 mpg. So far the jailer has charged an astounding $15,000 for gas and feels that this is warranted while the rest of Public Safety is looking at layoffs and reduced staffing.

As for the rest of the city staff and their needs to get around town, in order their duties, there are not any pool cars. Hybrid pool cars that averaged somewhere near 45 mpg. Staff members that make roughly 1/3 the salary of a director must use their personal car and provide their own gas. The next thing to go will be the parking for government workers and its availability. This all came from the recommendations of Management Partners and if this is the depth of their study there is definitely something missing.

I certainly do not relieve the former administration of the responsibility of making the problem, but I do not feel the the current administration has solved the situation in the best manner.

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