PROVIDENCE, RI - A city councilman is pushing for changes to the city's policy on municipal vehicles as a way to curb abuse and trim department costs, according to the Providence Journal.
Councilman Joseph DeLuca, a Ward 6 Democrat, wants to require that city vehicles taken home by employees stay within city limits. He has proposed an ordinance amendment that would charge city workers up to 55 cents per mile for any department-approved travel outside of Providence. DeLuca said the current policy is not being taken seriously.
Take-home vehicles are currently regulated by a 2004 ordinance limiting the use of city vehicles to work and work-related events. Travel beyond the city limits must be approved by a department head, but there is no mileage payment requirement.
The majority of the approximately 79 take-home vehicles in the city fleet are issued to police officers. The Fire Department issues about 10 vehicles to command staff. The police and fire chiefs argue that the vehicles are not perks, but are necessary for staff to respond to emergencies. Other take-home vehicles are found in public works, parks, recreation, public property, communications, and the mayor's office.
Only 15 of the city vehicles stay within city limits, reported the Journal.