Vehicle use a sore spot

Gloversville Mayor Dayton King’s failure to keep up consistently with mileage logs for the city-owned vehicle he drives may seem like a minuscule issue to some, but to many people in the community, it’s a concern.

It’s troublesome because the vehicle belongs to the taxpayers, and city residents have a right to know how it’s being used. In addition, a person in this leadership role should be expected to follow and respect city procedures.

The mayor’s position in Gloversville does not include free personal use of a city vehicle. The city set up a procedure in 2011 to ensure the mayor and other officials use city vehicles properly.

This procedure, which involves tabulating mileage and destinations, is standard. Recording mileage is not unheard of. Many businesses and government agencies require people who drive company vehicles to keep track of their use.

Some members of the Common Council and community activists have expressed concerns about the mayor’s use of a city vehicle. They’ve alleged he’s driven it for his personal use. The issue has been a sore spot for years. It’s not something people are bringing up now just because it’s an election year. The mayor admitted he had, on occasion, picked up one of his children with the vehicle for a personal matter, but he assured the council this would not continue.

Throughout his mayoral term, King repeatedly has said he would follow the mileage procedure, yet he only recorded mileage during two months in 2012.

The Common Council owns some of the blame in this issue. The council should review the mileage logs regularly and inform the public if the mayor or any other official who uses a city vehicle fails to record mileage. If something as simplistic as auditing a mileage expense isn’t done properly, the public should be concerned.

Records appear to show the mayor has been keeping track of his mileage over the past few months. City officials using two other city vehicles also appear to be keeping good records. We hope this trend continues and the council monitors the vehicle use. If the city finds a city vehicle is misused, the council should address the situation immediately.

Hopefully, the council won’t have to spend time fielding any further complaints about misuse of city vehicles.