BROOKSVILLE, FLHernando County Fleet Management Department is in a "financial mess" and needs a "desperate overhaul," according to a Hernando Today editorial. County Administrator David Hamilton has ordered a resolution of the fleet department's financial problems by May 28.

In February, the current department head, Public Works Director Charles Mixson, requested a $350,000 general fund loan from the county commission. No detailed report was given, nor did any commissioners ask probing questions to learn more about the financial problems.

Among the issues criticized is why a department fully funded with $10.3 million at the beginning of the fiscal year with nearly $2 million in its vehicle maintenance fund appears already out of funds mid-year.

"Both former director Jim Gantt and Charles Mixson have headed the department, but we have yet to hear or receive from either one of them a detailed report - one that documents and explains the deficiencies, the reasons why, and recommended changes to be made," stated the editorial.

"While there was no detail given when the request was made, commissioners have the responsibility and the duty of getting to the bottom of this and bringing out all the facts publicly. Simply turning over more than a third of a million dollars in these serious economic times deserves, nay, demands a full public discussion and disclosure...The taxpayers demand and expect answers," the editorial advocated.