Government Fleet Top News

Proposal Would Put a Boot on Some Jacksonville City Vehicles

November 12, 2008

JACKSONVILLE, FL – About a dozen Jacksonville City Hall employees could be forced to turn in the keys to their assigned-city vehicles if a policy proposed by Mayor John Peyton is approved.

Under the proposal, which needs the City Council’s approval, employees can be assigned a vehicle if their job descriptions require them to be identified at all times as a city employee, their position requires travel that would likely damage a personal vehicle, or their jobs require driving more than 700 miles a month, excluding their commutes, according to www.jacksonville.com.

City employees will be allowed to drive assigned-vehicles home if they are considered on-the-clock and at work immediately upon leaving home, they are routinely required to report directly to work to various city locations, or they are routinely required to leave work from various city locations.

Kerri Stewart, the city’s deputy chief administrative officer, said Jacksonville began trying to pare down its list of assigned vehicles as a result of this summer’s budgeting process and later realized a formal policy was needed. In drafting its new policy, the city studied the practices of other local governmental agencies, including city-owned JEA, the Sheriff’s Office, and the Jacksonville Port Authority.

Once the legislation is approved by the council, the city will begin to verify which employees are authorized to have assigned cars and who can take them home. Stewart estimated that after the process is complete, 10 to 15 employees will no longer have assigned vehicles but will instead check out pool cars when needed. Other employees might see their assigned car downgraded, such as from an SUV to a sedan. Others might be slated for upgrades.

The city manages a fleet of 3,806 vehicles, but only 1,739 are driven by city employees and less than 200 are take-home cars. The rest of the fleet is assigned to the state departments of Transportation and Environment Protection and to JEA.

The draft policy also grants the mayor the discretion to authorize car allowances to certain appointed employees. To receive an allowance, the employee must drive at least 200 miles per month for work. Employees will receive $300 a month if their estimated mileage is 200 to 400 miles and $500 if their estimated mileage is 400 or more miles a month.

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