The City of Hartford could crack down on take home cars after a high profile problem, and this could save taxpayers thousands of dollars
“I do think it's out of hand,” said City Councilman Ken Kennedy. That’s why he just wrote legislation to get rid of at least a half dozen take home cars for most department heads, who don’t consistently get called in for emergencies after hours. “That costs taxpayers thousands of dollars,” he explained.
Kennedy said these cars should only be limited to city leaders including the Mayor, Police and Fire Chiefs, and Director of Public Works.
This idea comes after big problems in June, when the Mayor’s former Chief of Staff was arrested when he took his city car without permission following his resignation. “I can’t justify the Chief of Staff having a vehicle…not in my mind,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy also told NBC Connecticut he couldn’t justify why the Health Director, the head of Children and Family Services, and Economic Development had these take home cars, to name a few. “I don’t think there's justification for people taking city cars back and forth where we pay gas, insurance, and the maintenance on the vehicle,” Kennedy explained.
These workers have been driving on the public’s dime. Ken Kennedy told NBC Connecticut, Andrew Jaffe, who was just fired as the head of Hartford’s Emergency Dispatch Center might have consistently driven his car to an address in Suffield, almost 30 miles away from the office. He said others have taken these cars significant distances almost daily, and it might be allowed under the current rules. “Taxpayers shouldn’t have to go and pay for them to get to work,” said Norman Ransom of Hartford.
It’s a practice the Hartford City Council could change in a matter of weeks. For now this is just an idea, it will be discussed and possibly voted on at the next City Council meeting.