City Taxpayers Funding Take-Home Vehicles For City Employees
Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:22 PM EDT
Should city taxpayers fund take-home vehicles that some employees are driving out of state?
FOX45 heard from one councilman who is trying to put the brakes on a program that he says is wasting millions.
“I’m not going to subsidize their travel, and that’s the part I’m frustrated with," said City Councilman Bill Cole frustrated.
It’s been a controversial issue in a city short on money: taxpayer funded cars driven out of state by city employees. Baltimore City spends millions on gas, repairs, and insurance for the cars.
City Councilman Cole wants to limit the program, saying, “I think it’s asking the taxpayers of Baltimore too much to pay for somebody to drive to York, Pennsylvania, Dover, Delaware, or to Alexandra, Virginia.”
On Monday Councilman Cole plans to introduce legislation which will ban driving any city owned car 25 miles outside of Baltimore unless it’s used for official business. The ban includes driving to and from private residences, which creates a sore spot for Cole who says the cars should never go outside the state.
Cole explained, “The problem is, if you live in Delaware or Pennsylvania or way out in Carroll County you are not within reasonable distance to drive to the city. It defeats the purpose of taking the vehicle.”
The new law could put the biggest crimp on the Police Department.
According to figures obtained by FOX45, the Department issued 89 take home cars to officers of all Ranks - 20 of which travel outside the state regularly.
The City Police Department declined to comment on Cole’s proposal.
For now Cole’s banking on support from the Mayor’s office which issued a statement saying they will back the bill.
“At the end of the day, it’s a waste,” said Cole.