Democratic Caucus of the Monroe County Legislature

Unregulated Use of Taxpayer-Funded County Cars Addressed by Democratic Proposal

Tom MorriseyComment

Rochester, New York — Democrats in the County Legislature have called for new policies for Monroe County-owned take-home cars, pointing out that more than 60 vehicles have been given to Monroe County employees for round-the-clock personal use without those public servants having to justify their need or agree to abide by any written policies or standards for appropriate use.

“As a steward of the hard-earned tax dollars of the people of this county, I am deeply concerned that the issuance of a county car for personal use has become standard operating procedure for many departments,” said Legislator Dorothy Styk (D – Perinton, East Rochester), the measure’s sponsor.  “County vehicles should be reserved for those employees that have a legitimate need to respond to potential emergencies at all hours.  This is the kind of expensive perk that has long since disappeared from the private sector and has no place in any government, let alone a county that is  deeply in debt and cutting basic services to residents.”

Monroe County’s practices are out of line with other upstate governments.  For example, its 60-plus vehicle take-home fleet is 46 percent larger than Erie County’s 41-car fleet, despite serving a county with an 18 percent smaller population.  In addition, Erie County does not provide vehicles to its County Executive or his staff, and has adopted a written policy detailing acceptable uses and consequences for bad behavior.

The legislation proposing the new county-owned take-home vehicle policy has been introduced and will be considered, pending committee assignment, during the cycle of October 19-21, 2015.  Those wishing to comment on this proposed policy, or the county vehicle fleet in general, are encouraged to sign up with the Clerk of the Legislature at (585) 753-1950.