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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Trenton officials pass gas costs to the taxpayers

Trenton City Councilman Jim Coston has received the city's vehicle usage rules recently, after several months of requests for the materials from Business Administrator Jane Feigenbaum.

Ms. Feigenbaum said she would have it to the councilman by the following Monday, and that she was putting the finishing touches on the rules document.

This odd response sure sounds like the city has never had a city vehicle usage policy - or ordinance - and it seems whoever has had a city vehicle could use it in an unregulated fashion.

Trips to Philadelphia, the Jersey Shore, or to the grocery store, could all have been made in city vehicles using tax dollar-funded gasoline at a time when the United States has seen some of the highest gas prices in history, sources familiar with the situation said.

Compound this situation with the fact that many of the vehicles are issued to police officials - who are not required to live within city limits - and the problem is even worse, meaning Trenton employees living significant distances away from the capital are motoring back and forth in gas-guzzling police vehicles.

Perhaps the city could afford more housing inspectors - or more police officers for that matter - if we weren't paying the gasoline for city cars so that city officials could "drive off into the sunset".

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