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Thread: Town Tries To Cut Down On Cars Workers Take Home

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    Member steven's Avatar
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    Town Tries To Cut Down On Cars Workers Take Home

    The Town of Amherst is looking to cut down on the number of cars in its fleet, specifically the number of vehicles workers take home.

    Thirty three Erie County workers take home a car. Almost double that number is taken home by workers in the Town of Amherst.

    "There are a lot of cars that don't need to be taken home," said Republican Board Member Shelly Schratz.

    "We want to be very judicious about it. There are too many cars. We have 55 vehicles people take home. We can do more with less," said Supervisor Dr. Satish Mohan.

    Thatís right, 55 Town of Amherst employees take town cars home after work according to a recent audit.

    The town board is considering a resolution that cuts the entire Town of Amherst fleet of 415 vehicles.

    http://wgrz.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=38975
    People who wonder if the glass is half empty or full miss the point. The glass is refillable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steven
    The Town of Amherst is looking to cut down on the number of cars in its fleet, specifically the number of vehicles workers take home.

    Thirty three Erie County workers take home a car. Almost double that number is taken home by workers in the Town of Amherst.

    "There are a lot of cars that don't need to be taken home," said Republican Board Member Shelly Schratz.

    "We want to be very judicious about it. There are too many cars. We have 55 vehicles people take home. We can do more with less," said Supervisor Dr. Satish Mohan.

    That’s right, 55 Town of Amherst employees take town cars home after work according to a recent audit.

    The town board is considering a resolution that cuts the entire Town of Amherst fleet of 415 vehicles.

    http://wgrz.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=38975

    Why so many take home cars in the Highway Department, I wonder. I mean, 198 take home cars? What are they doing? Patroling for potholes on their off hours?

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    Quote Originally Posted by atotaltotalfan2001
    Why so many take home cars in the Highway Department, I wonder. I mean, 198 take home cars? What are they doing? Patroling for potholes on their off hours?
    I know that the guys from Highway that are home and get a call for, maybe a down tree limb, will go to the location, and it is sometimes as simple as just pulling the limb out of the way and place it at the side of the road and they go back home. Most of the time this time that is used is not charged to the town. It is just a trivial amount of time so it's not charged. Now...if they are not allowed to take a vehicle home, what do you think will need to be done? First after recieving the call the guy will need to go to Town Hall, punch in, get the truck, go to the location, pull the tree limb out of the way, go back to Town Hall, punch out, and then go home. Now, how much time is wasted? How much time is charged to the Town for OT, usually there is a minimum of 4 hours paid to that employee who gets called in no matter if it takes him 4 minutes or 4 hours. extra fuel, both ways. Don't forget, the guys that take the vehicles home are charged the milage rate of the IRS for the milage to and from their home.

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    Agree

    Gotta agree with you Smiley. Satish and Shelly are reaching for headlines. They do no analysis. They use blanket statements like There's too many cars. Really? Where? Where do you cut down ? How much will it cost to have town employees drive their own cars visavis town cars? Give some facts that makes it at least appear that you gave some thought to the subject.
    dono

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    Has any of our illustrious board members stated HOW MUCH MONEY will be saved by elliminating take home vehicles? Or is this just the perception of public workers getting more than the taxpayers think they should? The idea of take home vehicles was initiated for the good of the town. Now it is portrayed as a 'perk' or a bad thing. Mohan and Shratz make statements and throw 'facts' out there with no data or back up. When will the voters get sick of this crap?

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    Have they planned on where these cars will be kept? If the Town doesn't have space in the lots to keep them overnight they may need to build facilities for them....and how much will that cost to build and maintain???

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    Quote Originally Posted by amherstfirst
    Have they planned on where these cars will be kept? If the Town doesn't have space in the lots to keep them overnight they may need to build facilities for them....and how much will that cost to build and maintain???
    IMO, the highway guys have plenty of room to keep their vehicles. There are others that work out of Town Hall. They will have to end their day at that location. It would be interesting to see where in the surounding lots they will be. Talk about lost productivity, overtime payments, and just think how much time will be involved for responding. Safety issue? Oh well...I'll check it out after I go to Town hall or the Highway Garage and get my truck then drive there. IMO the overtime clock would start ticking from the point of the phone call to the employees home!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smiley
    IMO, the highway guys have plenty of room to keep their vehicles. There are others that work out of Town Hall. They will have to end their day at that location. It would be interesting to see where in the surounding lots they will be. Talk about lost productivity, overtime payments, and just think how much time will be involved for responding. Safety issue? Oh well...I'll check it out after I go to Town hall or the Highway Garage and get my truck then drive there. IMO the overtime clock would start ticking from the point of the phone call to the employees home!
    I heard people like Factory workers,Nurses,Cops,Firefighters,and many others actually drive themselves,in their own cars to and from work.Even on overtime , or in call in situations . They actualy get screwed and only get time and a half for the hours they actualy worked.But i guess Town and County workers have different situations.
    It seems that if each one had his own "Town Car" i guess it makes sense. Let the Town buy each car - $20,000.00 plus - per car in most cases more. Insurance costs - $5-6 hundred a year-per car. Fuel costs - average $2.50 to $2.90 a gallon - $20. to $40. a tank full. I am sure those economy full size,four door cars the The "Town Buys" get at least 12 to 15 miles per gallon.

    I would be willing to bet that the cars are bought with tax-dollars and not financed - so that too saves money. I heard the maintenance costs are provided free by local shops or at least To further help local businesses , i am sure all repairs and maintenance is done in house or at least by Town based garages.

    But i have to agree with another point that was made - Where do we park these cars. I guess you don't have to worry about that. It seems the employees are finding plenty of parking at area Malls and Restaurants.

    Like the one resident said in a earlier post- he said
    " If an extra $54. dollars( added to your already low taxes) a year can help cover the cost- he's all for it."
    Just my thoughts - could be wrong!
    #Dems play musical chairs + patronage and nepotism = entitlement !

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    Quote Originally Posted by bullitt4248
    I heard people like Factory workers,Nurses,Cops,Firefighters,and many others actually drive themselves,in their own cars to and from work.Even on overtime , or in call in situations . They actualy get screwed and only get time and a half for the hours they actualy worked.But i guess Town and County workers have different situations.
    It seems that if each one had his own "Town Car" i guess it makes sense. Let the Town buy each car - $20,000.00 plus - per car in most cases more. Insurance costs - $5-6 hundred a year-per car. Fuel costs - average $2.50 to $2.90 a gallon - $20. to $40. a tank full. I am sure those economy full size,four door cars the The "Town Buys" get at least 12 to 15 miles per gallon.

    I would be willing to bet that the cars are bought with tax-dollars and not financed - so that too saves money. I heard the maintenance costs are provided free by local shops or at least To further help local businesses , i am sure all repairs and maintenance is done in house or at least by Town based garages.

    But i have to agree with another point that was made - Where do we park these cars. I guess you don't have to worry about that. It seems the employees are finding plenty of parking at area Malls and Restaurants.

    Like the one resident said in a earlier post- he said
    " If an extra $54. dollars( added to your already low taxes) a year can help cover the cost- he's all for it."
    Just my thoughts - could be wrong!
    You're wrong on at least one point. Why should the employee called in to work have to drive his own vehicle to the location needed. Why should he have to pay for the gas, maintenance, insurance when it is a "town" problem? If his call-in requires that he report to his office then I see no problem with it but if he has to drive to a different location then a town car should be utilized. Either that or he should drive his own car to the office and pick up a town vehicle to drive to the location needed. And if the $4.50 per month helps cover this cost then YES, I'm all for it.

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    Plus these same people are having their off time interupted. The factory worker can say "no" to coming in for overtime. The town employee most likely cannot. The plow drivers and foremen are on call during the winter. The fire, building, and refuse inspectors also have to report. Police officers, and other emergency personell also cannot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by communicator
    You're wrong on at least one point. Why should the employee called in to work have to drive his own vehicle to the location needed. Why should he have to pay for the gas, maintenance, insurance when it is a "town" problem? If his call-in requires that he report to his office then I see no problem with it but if he has to drive to a different location then a town car should be utilized. Either that or he should drive his own car to the office and pick up a town vehicle to drive to the location needed. And if the $4.50 per month helps cover this cost then YES, I'm all for it.
    Which "Point" was i wrong on? The "Town Employee" if called in receives overtime compensation (tax dollars) in their pay.

    Most people have to drive to work in order to do their job ( why not then have Ford,Chevy, Hospitals,Fire stations and Police all get compensated for "Driving to work?" These people also have "Their off time interrupted"(quote:communicator #10 post).

    Factory workers,nurses and many others have "Forced overtime situations" Should they all be provided cars at taxpayers expense? Why should taxpayers subsidize the cost of any employees travel expenses?

    All i am saying is it isn't about an extra $4.50 a month. I am quite sure your "Town" taxes are much larger than that.Do you know how much of the yearly budget goes to services and employee costs? When did local government become the biggest employers in so many towns?
    #Dems play musical chairs + patronage and nepotism = entitlement !

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    Quote Originally Posted by communicator
    You're wrong on at least one point. Why should the employee called in to work have to drive his own vehicle to the location needed. Why should he have to pay for the gas, maintenance, insurance when it is a "town" problem? If his call-in requires that he report to his office then I see no problem with it but if he has to drive to a different location then a town car should be utilized. Either that or he should drive his own car to the office and pick up a town vehicle to drive to the location needed. And if the $4.50 per month helps cover this cost then YES, I'm all for it.
    How often is an employee called out of town for a problem. They work in the town so where ever they drive in the town is basically going to work isn't it?

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    Towns provide services for both residents and those who visit on a daily. weekly, etc. basis to work, shop, dine, entertainment, recreation, etc. As the demand gets greater, it takes more individuals to provide a specific service. When the Town decided to quadruple the size of the Senior Ctr. & provide additional services, it took more people to operate this facility & services of this size. When people requested additional recreation (4 rink complex, Clearfield and N. Amherst facilities, Oakwood, Audubon & Par 3 golf courses, pools, libraries, etc.), it takes more people to operate these facilities. When the University of Buffalo located within the town, it created a boom in construction of both residential and commercial construction that continues at approx. $100-140M/yr based on the TOA website. Over 110,000 people (outside of UB) live here with many more 1000's travelling here on a regular basis, and the over 54 sq miles of area takes a great effort (with the exception of the TB) to provide a safe and desirable place for people to live and visit. Can some cost savings be made by merging some services within the town? Maybe, but let the committee that was just formed and has met a couple of times, come back with some recommendations. The majority of the present TB have very little idea what it actually takes to provide a service and if they start cutting without a plan on how to continue to provide these services, then the people who have been crying for changes may not like what they see. The truth is that the General Fund (exclusive of special districts) costs the taxpayer around $5/$1000 of assessed value in this town (I cannot speak for places like Lancaster, Cheektowaga, Clarence, etc.)

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    Personally, I don't see the big deal about some Town employees taking vehicles home. First of all, not EVERY Town employee does this. It's only those in unique positions that do. Not all highway guys take a Town car home. The guys that are the first responders do. Why is that? because, they are the ones who recieve the first calls when something needs attention, i.e. tree branch down in the road. Now instead of watsing time by having to travel from his home to the highway garage to drop off his car and get the town truck, and then travel to the location, he can just pull out of his driveway and go directly to the location and move it. He then goes home. I know all you Mohan ites aren't going to believe this, BUT many, many times the guy called out doesn't even put in for overtime for the time he spent moving the branch, unless it is too big and he needs equipment to move it. There are many more examples. OH NO... Save Taxpayer money? WOW!!! What a thought!!!

    How about the Building Inspectors.... Their day offically ends at 4pm, right? well... most of the time they are still at an inspection site finishing up at that time, because they got there about 3:45pm, trying to accomodate a resident or business. IMO, these guys would have to end their day at 3:30 to allow themselves time to go to Town Hall to drop off their Town vehicle, go inside and drop off their keys, wash up and be ready to walk out the door at 4pm sharpe. After all, that's what factory workers, etc. do, is get ready to walk out the door at exactly quiting time.

    Just think what would have happened on that saturday regarding the "illegal" tree droppings when Doc and Sch RATZ and the "building Inspector" had to go to that site. The Building Inspector just went directly from his home to the site, instead of leaving his home and going to town hall to get the vehicle and THEN going to the site. The media coverage would not have been so much of an impact, because the inspector would have been there afterwards.

    These are just a few examples. There are many more that I'm sure Town employees could site.

    I think what many people are ignoring is the fact that these Town workers are NOT getting a free ride home. They are charged the IRS rate for commutation. So, sure some employees are allowed to take a vehicle home. This has been going on for well over 30 years. Seems strange that now, all of a sudden, it is an issue.

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    As far as providing things to people who visit , where they stay,eat, etc. and travel is of no real cost to the town _ in most cases their visits produce revenue and tax dollars.

    Senior Center, , 4 rink complex,golf ,pools and libraries ; are serving a small percentage of the residents . Excluding the Senior center and libraries, most of these facilities were sold to the public with some promise of fee's generated to defray operational costs. Most if not all failed in that area.

    It is no secret that the "frequent" voters and those who approve these endeavors are usually those who are supporters of those in office and of course the developers of these projects .

    They are also less than the majority of the residents. I would guess less than 10% of the town vote or voted to approve these high cost (tax-dollar) items. They are used by few and paid for by all.

    Those who are crying the loudest are the few that have always enjoyed the subsidized (tax funded) lifestyle and privileges that party politics has provided them.

    Tack on user fees to cover the cost of employees ! If these tax-payer funded facilities were privatized - tax monies withdrawn - most would go bankrupt.

    We here in New York State need to take a honest look in a holistic view.
    Can we afford to be the highest taxed state in the country?
    How did we acquire that privilege?
    Why do we consider political subsidies any different than welfare?
    If Towns and Counties keep increasing the services and employees , will this lead to a system that supports it self?
    What happens to those on fixed incomes?
    Can we (taxpayers) really afford the taxpayer cost for pensions/entitlements and lifetime benefits for our elected & appointed officials and the same for all our "Service" providers?
    #Dems play musical chairs + patronage and nepotism = entitlement !

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