Government Fleet Top News

Dearborn Heights Officials to Review Cost and Use of City Vehicles

November 28, 2007

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, MI – Dearborn Heights city officials agreed that purchasing city vehicles outright could reduce save the city money in the long run, but some say stricter enforcement regarding employees' use of those vehicles is still needed, according to the Press & Guide Newspapers.The city currently leases or owns more than 100 vehicles, which are utilized by various departments — including the Building Department, Public Works, and the Water Department — as well as members of the city's administration, such as Mayor Dan Paletko and Krystina Kramarz, administrative assistant to the mayor.Paletko has expressed interest in purchasing city vehicles outright, instead of leasing them for a specified amount of time. The city currently leases or owns several vehicles that are being utilized by the directors or administrators overseeing various city departments, as well as by members of the police and fire departments.Some members of the Dearborn Heights city council expressed concern during a Nov. 20 meeting that the city may have an overabundance of vehicles and that some employees may be utilizing their city-owned vehicles for personal use.However, several city employees are already required to fill out logs documenting their travels, and there are policies in place to deal with employees who violate the city's policies regarding the usage of a city-owned vehicle. The policies have been in place for some time, according to the Press & Guide Newspapers. However, the log program was instituted recently after it was determined that some city employees were caught violating the city’s policies during working hours.The council agreed that stricter enforcement of existing policies may be required to prevent further incidents, such as the one that occurred in November 2006 when an employee with the city’s Department of Public Works struck several parked cars while operating a street sweeper in the city’s north end. The driver was intoxicated at the time of the incident, police said.City employees who violate the city's substance abuse policy are allowed to seek treatment following their first offense. Any city employee with a suspended license is not allowed to operate a city vehicle.Councilwoman Marge Horvath suggested that the city could implement a Global Positioning System for its vehicles, which would allow city officials to know where the vehicles are at any given time.Members of the council also expressed concern that the vehicles being used by city employees are not properly marked, which has led to concern from local residents.The council is expected to continue its discussion about city-owned vehicles at a future date.

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