Date: August 8, 2022
Author: Bob Beckstead
Location: Massena, NY
“MASSENA — As village trustees continue to debate who should or shouldn’t be authorized to take an official vehicle home at night, Deputy Mayor Matthew J. LeBire says it’s critical to keep accurate mileage so board members can see an actual representation of vehicle usage.
“I think it’s critical for the recording of mileage at the time of fuel fill-ups,” he said. “I’ve looked at least six months’ worth of logs. By all means, everything looks in order in terms of the amount of gas being pumped.”
However, he added, there were discrepancies in mileage.
“There’s no way every fill-up for some people filling that the mileage is ending on zero. There’s certainly no way the mileage is going down on a subsequent fill-up than it was the prior time. So I think the policy needs to state that any driver, not just at home, anyone that’s using a village vehicle that’s filling up is required to put accurate, detailed mileage when you fill up because that’s what everyone sitting here has to look at for vehicle usage,” Mr. LeBire said.
“When I look at the log and I see 17,500, next fill-up 17,600, next fill-up 17,700, there’s no way. It’s not a real mileage. It’s an approximate. They get busy, they didn’t pay attention, they put the gas and come back and, ‘Oh, I know it’s around 17,000.’ So they put something in. I get it. It’s tempting. You want to do your job. You want to get out there and finish the project you’re working on. You don’t want to be filling out a log,” he said. “But I think it’s of critical importance that we as a board put in the policy that it’s required that you put the accurate, detailed odometer reading when you’re filling up.”
He said the policy could apply to vehicles not equipped with automatic mileage tracking.
The village has contracted Enterprise Fleet Management for the management of village vehicles. He suggested village vehicles should only be used for official business, and not if the individual had errands to run during the day.
“You guys need to minimize your mileage on these vehicles as much as you can because the equity numbers that you put in your potential savings are just not going to be there,” he said. “They’re not going to be there because the number was flawed in my opinion and they’re not going to be there because most experts are saying that the used car market is a bubble that’s going to burst. What worries me is the loss of equity in these vehicles because we need to track the mileage accurately to know what value is left in them.”
A committee that studied the after-hours usage of village vehicles will have a recommendation for trustees concerning vehicle use when members meet on Aug. 16.”