Township to Revisit Take-Home Vehicle Policy

Deputy Mayor Anthony Minniti said there needs to be a more "coherent" policy in place.

A few weeks after township committee members , Deputy Mayor Anthony Minniti is calling for a more comprehensive policy regarding township-issued vehicles.

At Monday’s , Minniti called for a more “coherent policy to whom and under what circumstances do we allow individuals to take a vehicle home.”

Currently, there are six township employees who are allowed to take their issued vehicles home—three police detectives, one police lieutenant, the director of public works and the zoning officer.

All are 24/7 responders, except for the township’s zoning officer.

Last year, township committee enacted a policy that those township employees who use a car are only allowed to take it to and from work if they live in a 10-mile radius. All the above six do.

They for Public Safety Director Michael P. King when they voted to allow him to take his township-issued car home—about 20 miles away. However, , King declined its take-home use.

Minniti claims the policy in place now—which doesn’t go beyond the 10-mile radius rule—is “very loose.”

“We really have to start taking a zero budgeting approach to the vehicle policy and start at the base,” he said.

Minniti said he’s always been “100 percent opposed to any employee taking home a vehicle.”

“I think they should pick it up on campus,” he added. “But our policy allows it, so my opinion is irrelevant. But I think we need to start at that point. Do we believe that vehicles should be taken home or do we believe they should be returned at the end of every day? That’s the first hurdle we have to be clear on.”

Committeewoman Kathy Fitzpatrick believes take-home cars should be allowed for 24-hour employees.

“If they are called frequently on off-hours,” she said during Monday’s meeting, “that consideration should be made for allowing them to have a vehicle.”

At the meeting, township committee members asked Frank Locantore, , to look into who uses the vehicles and if it’s needed.

“My recommendation is to have Frank look at the six township employees who operate vehicles,” Mayor Don Brauckmann said Tuesday. “I want him to look at the positions and justify the needs and try to come back with some sort of report based on different job descriptions and the need to have a vehicle.”

Minniti is hoping for a policy that doesn’t allow for exceptions; instead, the policy would have to change itself.

Emergencies should be submitted for mileage reimbursement, Minniti suggested.

“Because emergencies don’t happen all that often,” he said.

One option, Minniti said Locantore brought up, is to let an employee take home a car, but he or she would reimburse the township for mileage.

Minniti wants to do away with the mileage limitations and “really look at whether a person should be allowed to take a car home,” and if they are, “what sort of giveback to the taxpayers can be achieved.”

Locantore said in some municipalities, township employees have to pay taxes on a take-home vehicle. 

The new administrator said he would meet the department heads and have information for township committee by October’s work session meeting.

Nancy VanTwistern September 13, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Agree, Mark!
Richard Magee September 13, 2012 at 02:44 PM
I remember that Crooks used to case the Police Parking lot to determine how many Officers were on patrol at any given time by countint the Police vehicles. This applies everywhere. To allow the Lt's and the Chief and the Det. Squad take home vehicles is a smart practice. They are equipped and can respond directly to the scene without having to first pick up a car. Many Departments allow Officers to take hiome their vehicles if they live in the County or close to the Headquarters. This saves money. Less maintainance and milage. They are not personal transportation. More Cars are visible around town Police vehicles are usually traded every 6 to 12 months anyway whie take home vehicles last much lionger and are maintained better. The Officer is tasked with that as well as keeping it cleaned. Big departments use trustees at stations and sub stations. K-9 Officers included. Time is saved by not having to transfer gear etc. I support the practice of Take-Home Police Vehicles but feel a minimal Car Allownace for Politicians and Appointees if you must reward them o0ther than their Salaries. Politicians in general, consider this a tax-payer funded PERK. ~Rick Magee, FL
Richard Magee September 13, 2012 at 02:50 PM
John Obuchowski is correct. He should know this first hand as do I. ~Rick Magee, Fl
Ric September 13, 2012 at 03:39 PM
I salute Councilperson Minniti for taking the lead in resolving this issue. Certainly I agree that the three detectives should be able to take a car home if they live locally. But they should reimburse the township for personal use of the vehicle. I cannot see why the zoning officer needs to take a car home. How often do we get an emergency zoning dispute in the middle of the night? Considering the recent revelations about the CSA, I tend to beleive the director of public works does not need a vehilce either. If an occassion arises, would it not be cheaper to reimburse him for using his own car - just like in the business world.
Robert D September 13, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Richard. Florida must be a real boring place. Don't they have a local Patch? Sorry, couldn't resist. When were you a cop where because respectfully, a lot has changed regarding some of the things you comment on? On this topic, I agree partially but don't think every cop should be able to take home a unit. Only detectives and the Lt.
Ric September 13, 2012 at 03:42 PM
I agree with you 100%. Only those police detectives are on call 24 hours.
JustALocalGuy September 13, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Just give reimbursements for those rare, true emergencies when someone must respond with their personally-owned vehicle.
Phil September 13, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I agree with the police/detectives. I could go either way on the public works super. I guess it would depend on whether or not he has anything in that car that would be needed when responding to some public works issue.
Tony September 13, 2012 at 04:35 PM
I do not think anyone would disagree with the three police detectives receiving take home vehicles, and I personally do not have a problem with the public works director receiving a take home vehicle. My problem with this entire situation is the fact that Councilman Minniti voted in early August to award Peter King, the public safety director, a township vehicle. Mayor Braukmann being the only member of the council to vote no. I question why Councilman Minniti would vote in favor and later come out and ask for a refinement of the policy.
Fred September 13, 2012 at 05:05 PM
this is really an easy subject, and the only question is, does the person responding in an emergency need THAT vehicle to respond with. Police Detectives - absolutely. Police Lieutenant - absolutely. Police K-9 Officer - absolutely. Anyone else? NO. And that includes the Director of Public safety. That car is not equipped with anything, not even a police radio. And as stated above, he lives over 20 miles away. Emergency?? 20 miles away! Figure it out. The writing is on the wall here if you can read between the lines. This committee is attempting to work something out where they can take away the Zoning Officers vehicle, and allow Mr. King to take his home. Mark my words, it's dirty politics at it's finest. Mr. Minniti is a champion at this, enjoy the show folks.
Bowtie September 13, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Ditto Frank..dirty politics
Ranger Smith September 13, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Are you suggesting a zoning officer should have a take home vehicle? I was shocked to hear this! Police I say yes, public safety director I say no, public works director I don't know enough about to say if he responds at night. I will look forward to the report from the new guy in charge, Frank.
Christina Paciolla (Editor) September 13, 2012 at 06:44 PM
As far as I know, the car is Director King's to drive once he's on the job. That hasn't changed. The only thing that changed is committee told me Director King declined take-home use of the vehicle. That was the first main issue.
John Obuchowski September 13, 2012 at 07:38 PM
In Defense of the Public Works Supt. YES, not long ago a house departed from its foundations and landed in the street and neighbors, doorways, on top of thier houses. The PW Supt. is a first reponder. To evaluate for personnel and heavy equipement to clear the way. This includes bad weather, flash flood, trees, power lines, heavy snow, hazmat, etc. Sorry, if you don't agree with me, but I have attended way to many "Viewings & Funerals" (2 this week). Unfortunatey, I have yet to see a "U-haul" full on money arrive at Lake View Cemetery for an Internment. Life is shorter than you think. 24/7 is 24/7 NO SHORTCUTS
Ruth Mays September 13, 2012 at 07:49 PM
K-9 officer should have 24/7 use of his vehicle because it is equipped to handle the dog.
Michael Makinson September 13, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Police personnel only. Maybe the board of education will consider if their vehicles need to be taken home as well.
walter September 13, 2012 at 09:05 PM
^^^^ Fred has it right, that is exactly how this will play out. Minnitti voted for buying a brand new car , then voted yes to safety director taking new car home, then claimed "HE DIDN'T KNOW " we bought new car for safety director. Now he wants to look into policy on township vehicles. This guy is unbelievable! !!!!!!
Chip September 14, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Folks, if the &$@?! hits the fan in my neighborhood I just hope the good guys come to my aid. Cars for our cops is a no brainer. Would parking them on a lot save money.....really folks come on........life is short.
Ric September 14, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Please, this cannot be true. Why would the board of education allow their vehicles be taken home? Do you mean to tell some administrator earning $110k a year cannot afford to buy their own car? Why would they need a car at home? In case a student forgot their homework assignment or their PB&J sandwich? No wonder why I pay $7500 in real estate taxes.
Nancy VanTwistern September 14, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Members of the Board of Education have town cars?? Is Ric correct? Never heard of that before in my 83 yrs....I'll be damned............seems to me there are too many freebees given to too many town employees. No wonder our taxes go up and up and up........what the heck is this? Is Ric wrong, did he misunderstand? I can see the reason for 'some'....but not so many.
Ric September 14, 2012 at 01:52 AM
@Nancy, please do not get me in trouble. I did not say that. I was responding to a message from Michael Makinson - right above mine. I agree with everthing you said if this is true - except I feel there is no reason for any cars.
Michael Makinson September 14, 2012 at 02:02 AM
For clarification I was referring to BOE pick up trucks / maintenance vehicles. NO administrators have BOE vehicles. The only time it makes sense to me is if a snow storm is approaching and the trucks need to get to the schools to plough the lots and salt the sidewalks. Ric and Nancy jumped to conclusions based on my previous and embarrassingly incomplete prior comment. My apologies.
lesanda September 14, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Are the users of "take home township owned vehicles " aware that the mileage costs of transportation to and from their home to their place of employment is considered income and therefore subject to income tax?
John September 14, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Oh boy do not go there, they have a hard time sending out the tax bills and U want them to list that as income....your kidding me right
Jeff September 14, 2012 at 10:45 PM
To clarify the Maintaince Dept at the schools do take vehicles home at night. I for one have seen them parked at various other places besides schools and their homes. As well as the Superintendent's of Public Works. CAR OR NO CAR Public Safety Director No Superintendent of Public Works Absolutely No Police 100% Yes Zoning Officer No
Nancy VanTwistern September 14, 2012 at 11:32 PM
In reading all the posts, it seems as if this 'car issue' is rather loose or helter skelter. Aren't there 'Policies and Procedures' written up somewhere in the rules in the Cinnaminson Township. I worked for a large corporation as an Adm.Asst. for a V.P. of Finance and there sure was a booklet of Policies and Procedures. They also had government contracts so we had to follow DOD rules/policies/procedures as well. The 'Boro' is not a large corporation but they still must answer to the tax payers.
Nancy VanTwistern September 14, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Sounds good to me!!!
Nancy VanTwistern September 14, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Did someone mention 'tax bills'??????????
IA Failure September 16, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Mayor Don Brauckmann said Tuesday. “I want him to look at the positions and justify the needs and try to come back with some sort of report based on different job descriptions and the need to have a vehicle.” Bruckmann you have the fox watching the henhouse. Locantore has had an Evesham Township vehicle for nearly 20 years while assisigned to administrative positions which NEVER REQUIRED EMGERGENCY RESPONSE. Just another perk - no gas, insurance, maintenance, registration or depreciation expenses. There were also unanswered questions about use of the township car and EZ Pass during post graduate studies. Don't be surprised when his report recommends the manager gets to take a car home to Shamong.
Nancy VanTwistern September 16, 2012 at 03:28 PM
AGAIN....as another person as mentioned: POLICY AND PROCEDURES should be required/or needed? as in most business's and in Municipal offices etc....why all the confusion? This 'town' has really grown and has many new business places of all kinds. THERE HAS TO BE SOME RULES AND REGULATION to cover each and every situation..business/schools/parks as well as in the township offices and police departments and fire departments........ANYWAY, I've belabored the point enough and am sure all know what I'm talking about.


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