Mayor James J. Fiorentini > Press Release
May 29, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
“MAYOR FIORENTINI ORDERS CUTBACKS IN USE OF CITY VEHICLES”
HAVERHILL- Mayor James J. Fiorentini today, responding to escalating gasoline prices, ordered immediate restrictions on the use of City take home vehicles. The Mayor has ordered a 15% total cutback in the number of number of take home vehicles. The Mayor’s measures include the following:
- Mayor Fiorentini ordered that each Department Head immediately cut back “a minimum of 10%” on the vehicles which employees are authorized to take home.
- The Mayor ordered restrictions on vehicle idling.
- He ordered that no city vehicles be allowed outside of the City, except on official City business.
In announcing his new policy, Fiorentini noted that it was a continuation of his long-standing polices to save on energy consumption:
“Two years ago we instituted our new policy of purchasing gasoline at a new city owned fuel depot. We estimate this saved us $23,000 per year,” noted the Mayor. “Earlier this year, we instituted a new policy in which the City itself fuels the Coppola Buses without paying tax, as opposed to having the company fuel their vehicles with taxes incurred and then seeking City reimbursement,” explained the Mayor.
As of May 16, the City has purchased 29,446 gallons of fuel for Coppola without paying the $0.244 federal excise tax per gallon, a savings of $7,185. The annual projected savings is expected to exceed $14,600.
“We previously instituted policies restricting the use of the fire department ladder truck for official use only, and we installed GPS on several city-owned vehicles in order to track usage,” noted the Mayor.
“Today we go an additional step of restricting the use of take-home vehicles and restricting idling by city owned vehicles. This is good for the taxpayer, and great for the environment,” the Mayor stated.
The Mayor announced that:
“Effective immediately, no employee who lives outside of the City will be allowed to take home a city vehicle. Every department is instructed to cut back a minimum of 10% on the number of vehicles which department heads allow employees to take home. Some of the departments will far exceed that 10% threshold. For example, in the Health and Inspectional services department, I have eliminated all take-home vehicles. Our goal is a total reduction of 15%.
“We continue to look for ways to save on energy,” Fiorentini added.
“We believe that the most important portions of this policy are the anti-idling provisions and that this will result in the most significant savings.
Fiorentini said he is also working on new policies to require that any new vehicle purchased by the City be energy efficient.
Vehicle policy follows
Directive from the Mayor Concerning Take Home Vehicles
Because of the escalating cost of gasoline, each city department is directed to immediately take steps to curtail the use of city owned vehicles, restrict the use of take home vehicles and restrict idling and gas usage of city vehicles. Our overall goal is to reduce take home vehicle usage by 15%. To meet that goal, please comply with the following.
In the event that any of these policies are thought to be in violation of any existing collective bargaining agreement, department heads shall notify the Human Resources Department who shall put the unions on notice immediately and institute impact bargaining with each union prior to implementation.
The City’s primary interest in controlling take-home vehicles is to reduce the costs of gasoline and to achieve a balance between the need to provide staff with the tools to do their jobs and the need to demonstrate the prudent use of public resources by minimizing unnecessary costs and liabilities associated with take home vehicles.
In issuing this directive, I recognize that we have a hard working and honest work force. This directive is designed to reduce costs given the high price of gasoline. It is not intended to be punitive.
Each department head in a department with take home vehicles should immediately reassess the need for take home vehicles in your department. For each vehicle that an employee is allowed to take home, please provide a brief written justification why such take home use is required.
Each department shall cut back a minimum of 10% in the number of cars allowed to be taken home. A list of the vehicles which are currently take home which are to be restricted shall be submitted to the Mayor no later than one week from today. To meet the overall minimum goal of a 15% reduction, some departments will be required to reduce usage by more than 10% at the discretion of the Mayor.
Department heads where the vehicles have GPS in the vehicles are directed to monitor monthly the GPS usage and report immediately any suspected misuse of the vehicles.
The purchasing department currently issues a monthly report on gasoline usage for each vehicle in each department. Department heads should review that report carefully to see if there is any misuse, unusual changes in the usage, or if vehicles are consuming what appears to be an excess amount of gas. Vehicles that are not fuel efficient shall be given priority for trade ins to more efficient vehicles. Suspected misuse shall be reviewed with the employee and, if misuse is still suspected shall be reported immediately to the Human Resources Department.
Take home vehicles are to be restricted to residents of the city of Haverhill only. Employees who live outside the city shall not be allowed to take home vehicles. Any exceptions must be approved in writing by the Mayor and must designate that city business requires that they have a take home vehicle.
Employees who have take-home vehicles shall be required to park them at their residence at the end of each work day.
All other vehicles will remain on designated City property after working hours.
All vehicles owned by the City of Haverhill shall be lettered with the City of Haverhill seal, as well as having municipal plates. Police under cover vehicles are exempt from this policy.
No city-owned vehicle shall be taken on vacation.
City vehicles shall not be taken out of the city with the following exceptions:
Official city business;
Travel to and from one destination in the city to another.
Only Approved Individuals shall operate said vehicles in carrying out their offical City duties.
No passengers shall be allowed in city vehicles unless that is associated with official city business.
All assigned personnel shall show due diligence in regard to minimizing travel to and from job sites. Lunch breaks and coffee breaks shall be under department policy for each department and, if a city vehicle is used, must be within the city.
City employees shall be instructed to minimize the idling of city vehicles.
Employees shall be reminded to properly care for their vehicles and to periodically check to make certain there is adequate tire pressure.
This policy shall remain in effect until modified by the Mayor. A permanent policy is under consideration by the Personnel Advisory Committee.
Misuse of a City-owned vehicle or any violation of this policy by any employee may be cause for discipline.
James J. Fiorentini, Mayor