New vehicle policy is a good one for county

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, May 1, 2013

As of Wednesday, nearly a dozen Pike County employees are leaving their county vehicles at work as they head home.

And that’s a good thing.

The policy which restricts the use of county vehicles took effect May 1. At its essence, the policy prohibits employees from taking county-owned vehicles home overnight or over the weekend.

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Exempted are law enforcement officials, emergency management officials and department heads.

But at its core, the policy is designed to curtail abuse — perceived or real — of tax-payer funded vehicles. According to county officials, some of the road department employees were traveling more than 100 miles each day, just from home to work, in county vehicles — an expense that was being funded by taxpayers. Travel to home from work sites is additional.

We believe that county employees should be provided vehicles for use during work hours. We also believe those privileges come with certain responsibilities. While the county commission was deeply divided in the decision to enact the new policy, it is an important step toward being more accountable and proactive in managing the county’s resources.

And in today’s tough economic times, it’s important that our elected officials acknowledge that taxpayers seek accountability for each and every dollar that is spent.