Methuen Vehicle Take Home Policy

Here are the two Executive Orders issued by Mayor Manzi regarding this topic.
Executive Order NO. 013-2008
WHEREAS, The City of Methuen is committed insuring that city-owned vehicles are used responsibility and efficiently;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, William M. Manzi, III, Mayor of The City of Methuen, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Chief Executive Officer hereby establish a city-owned vehicle policy and Order as follows:
City of Methuen personnel, approved by the Mayor, who are assigned take home city-owned vehicles may park their vehicles at their place of residence at the end of each work day, provided that their place of residence is within 10 miles of the City limits. All other vehicles will remain on designated City property after working hours.
The Mayor shall receive monthly, an analysis of the total amount of gasoline used and the mileage used by each city-owned vehicle.
All vehicles owned by the City of Methuen shall be lettered with the City of Methuen seal, as well as having municipal plates. All undercover, unmarked and surveillance public safety vehicles are not required to be lettered and may have standard plates.
City-owned vehicles assigned to approved personnel shall only use these vehicles while on official City business. Under no circumstances shall a city-owned vehicle be used for personal or private uses. No city-owned vehicle shall be taken on vacation by any employee. Only approved individuals shall operate said vehicles in carrying out their official City duties.
All assigned personnel shall show due diligence in regard to minimizing travel to and from job sites and shall not leave vehicles idling.
Misuse of a City-owned vehicle or any violation of this policy by any employee of the City of Methuen shall be just cause for discipline up to and including dismissal of said employee.
Given this 28th day of May, 2008.
Mayor William M. Manzi III, Mayor

WHEREAS, The City of Methuen has been experiencing a worsening financial crisis and is expecting to face more cuts in State local aid and declining revenues; and
WHEREAS, immediate measures must be taken to insure that Methuen remains on sound financial footing and is able to provide necessary services to all of its citizens;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, William M. Manzi, III, Mayor of The City of Methuen, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Chief Executive Officer hereby Order as follows:
1. With the exception of the Mayor, Police Chief, Fire Chief, Director of Public Works or his designee, no city employee is allowed to take a city owned vehicle to his or her residence overnight for any reason.

2. All employees who drive a city vehicle during the course of their employment must park that vehicle in a city lot at the end of their shift. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

3. This order shall take effect on January 1, 2010 and shall remain in force indefinitely.

Given this 22th day of December 2009.

The first executive Order was accompanied by a Press Release. (See Here)

Now is the time to start asking some questions about Vehicle Policy.

What is the status of Zip Cars in Methuen? (Link)(Leads to questions about public transportation policy in general?)

Where are the monthly reports of gasoline usage and mileage? They should have been collecting data since May, probably June, of 2008. Can we see the reports and the analysis that the City has done? This is for each city owned vehicle. The city can redact sensitive identification data on the vehicle so we do not violate any public safety operations.

How many designated city properties are there to leave cars at? How is the above data collected on these cars? Does the driver fill out a report? Does someone physically take data every day, week or month? What is the cost of data collection( if someone other than the driver collects this data)? Are all city vehicles fitted with GPS systems?

Who were the 25-30 personnel, see substantially less article below, designated for take home vehicles? Now that they don’t drive city vehicles back and forth from home are they still authorized to submit requests for reimbursement for gasoline used in their private vehicles?

Why do we have a Methuen first policy and then contractually allow employees to live outside the city and in some cases, outside the Commenwealth?

The best part of the policy is this line; Under no circumstances shall a city-owned vehicle be used for personal or private uses. How does one justify getting coffee in the morning as other than a personal use? Lunch breaks are also a personal use. ‘Nuff said?

Lastly, at least at this time, how many personnel have been disciplined for any violation of this policy? I make the assumption that no one has been terminated because we have spent our budget time and lot’s of rhetoric discussing how important it is to keep even “non-essential” personnel on the payroll.

Hope you read these policies and ask your own questions of the administration.

Remember this was also a campaign issue; (Link)

Why do we have any employees taking home city-owned vehicles?

MANZI: City vehicles are given on a take-home basis only to personnel that may be required to respond on a 24-hour basis. I have promulgated an executive order reforming the system, including a 10-mile limit, a strict prohibition on personal use, with severe penalties for violations.

DINUCCIO: With the exception of the chiefs of police, fire, and also the K-9 officers nobody else needs a take-home vehicle, including the mayor. This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are also stipends given for personal vehicle use that also needs to go away.

From debate on Politically Active: (link)

DiNuccio said he wouldn’t let 26 city employees take city-owned vehicles home, as is the practice. DiNuccio said he wouldn’t hire all the consultants that Manzi hires, he would take away stipends for city employees who drive their own vehicles on the job, and reduce the use of gasoline and city-owned cell phones.

How much is ‘substantially less’?

During Wednesday night’s debate between Mayor William Manzi and challenger Al DiNuccio, DiNuccio said there are 27 city employees who take home city-owned vehicles.

“The number is not 27, it’s substantially less,” Manzi retorted, without providing the specific number.

The next day, The Eagle-Tribune asked Manzi what the correct number is, and he said it’s 26.

“I said he was wrong,” Manzi said, when asked about his response during the debate. “There was not 27. Honestly, the reason I didn’t give a specific number is because I couldn’t remember what the number was.”

admin posted at 2009-12-26 Category: Uncategorized

4 Responses Leave a comment

  1. #1Jack Burke @ 2010-1-12 12:45

    I requested a copy of all the reports that are requested in the Executive order.
    I made the request on December 29, 2009. excluding weekends and holidays, the information or an explanation is due today.

    I requested an update from the City.
    The request was transferred to the mayors office. That is the correct place.
    They have not responded to my email request as yet.

    Will keep you posted.

    In the mean time check out what the do in Colorado. They actually post all their vehicles and the miles logged against them for all the residents to view. Not real time data but far and away ahead of us.
    See this website for the list:

  2. #2Jack Burke @ 2010-1-13 11:36

    I don’t have a good feeling about this.
    The response that I got today from City hall is as follows;
    My request has been forwarded to the DPW as they keep track of gas usage.
    The person who received my request will be out until next Tuesday.
    Stay tuned.

  3. #3Jack Burke @ 2010-1-28 09:05

    The Mayor’s Chief of Staff has stopped responding to my email requests for updates on this and other requests.
    I ran into him at the Budget Forum held at Manns Orchard on Tuesday.
    He said he is still working on this but the Public Works Director, who is only one floor down, has not gotten back to him.
    I have tried to avoid using the alternative methods, which require filing with the State for information but they are forcing my hand.

  4. #4Maragaret Weikal @ 2010-4-12 14:05

    Awesome post, I am a huge fan of your website, keep on writing these great posts, and I will be a regular visitor for a long time.

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