City of Northport Looks to Replace Voided Vehicle Policy

September 16, 2010

NORTHPORT, AL - Dozens of Northport, Ala., city employees, from firefighters and police officers to administrative staff, drive city-owned vehicles every day with no written policy in force. However, this could change if City Council approves a new vehicle policy next month, according to the Tuscaloosa News.

City Administrator Scott Collins, who sometimes drives a city vehicle to his home, said there hasn't been a written policy for more than three years. He said he has provided verbal instructions to city department heads.

The city does not maintain mileage logs for its pool of vehicles, so there is no documentation of where the vehicles are driven, Collins said.

A new vehicle policy will be presented to the Northport City Council in October, Collins said. He added there is a need for a new policy because the city's previous one no longer applies to any city employee.

The new policy could include a requirement that all city department heads live within city limits, not currently a requirement. However, City Council President William Tunnell appeared skeptical that the residency requirement would pass the council, according to the newspaper.

Of the current department heads, the majority live outside the city limits.

The previous policy was adopted in 2005, modeled after the neighboring City of Tuscaloosa's policy, which gave the city administrator final approval on all vehicle use. In 2007, the council eliminated the city administrator's position which remained vacant for almost a year and a half. Collins said the policy became void since there was no one to oversee it.

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