Vehicle use policy in Gloversville not followed
GLOVERSVILLE – Members of the Common Council have been fielding questions and concerns from city residents about city officials, including the mayor, using city vehicles for personal reasons.
As a result, 1st Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth said at a council meeting Tuesday if officials don’t start filling out vehicle-use logs regularly, the council may take further action to address the issue.
Wentworth said mileage logs have been inconsistent.
“I believe last year only two were done,” she said.
“If we have this resolution in place and we are not addressing it, I believe we are failing,” Wentworth said. “I don’t think it is fair that we [council members] are put in this position.”
A council resolution dated Oct. 25, 2011, established a comprehensive vehicle-use policy by allowing city vehicles only to be used for official business and not as additional compensation or an added benefit for city employees or officials.
All non-emergency vehicles, with the exception of police and fire vehicles, are required to be stored in the city parking lot from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. unless formally requested and approved by the mayor, according to the resolution.
“I get questions [about] why a city vehicle is parked in a driveway on Walnut Street from Friday night until Monday morning, and I don’t have an answer for that, and I shouldn’t be put into a position where I even have to field that question,” Wentworth said. “I would just ask that this be honored. This is misuse of city property, and I don’t want to keep talking about it.”
The resolution states if the mayor wants to use a city vehicle, the mayor must give notice of the event to the Common Council within 72 hours.
The resolution also requires a daily use log that includes the following information on each trip: date, beginning odometer reading, ending odometer reading, driver name and purpose of use.
All of the logs and requests are supposed to be included in the monthly Common Council audit, the resolution said.
She said something needs to be done or the council will have to return to the issue and find a different way to make sure the policy regarding city vehicles is followed.
Wentworth said she didn’t know exactly what the council would do if the issue continues to come up.
“If it is not going to be honored, the council then needs to take the next step to determine what is in our authority and what we can do to take control,” Wentworth said.
Mayor Dayton King said this is an old issue and he is keeping up with his daily logs of the city vehicle he uses.
He attributed the criticism of his vehicle use to the election year.
“I am not going to keep revisiting that,” King said. “I am filling out the books and I think it is a political item and an election year. I have been abiding by the resolution [and filling out] the vehicle logs.”
“Overall, I believe some council members try to be mayor from their council seat,” King added.
In December, city resident Bob Castiglione asked for the resignation of King over what Castiglione called King’s improper use of a city vehicle.
Levi Pascher can be reached by email at email@example.com.