Response to Phinney letter
October 7, 2021
I was disappointed to read Barbara Phinney’s letter concerning the County’s purchase of a big, new pickup truck for the E911 Manager - to the tune of $118,000 when there was already a pickup for the new manager to use. I admit I haven’t been paying too close attention to how the county is spending money. I thought that since we were a rural area, and country people pride themselves on common sense, the commissioners would be good stewards of our taxpayer dollars. Clearly, close scrutiny is needed of the county budget before approval, and not just by line item but the backup that supports each line item.
Let me guess. The person who replaced Ms. Phinney was male, came from a larger community that has lots of resources, and now that he lives in the country needs a big pickup. Also, they decided that their $61,000 plus salary was not really enough for them to buy their own big pickup.
Unfortunately, it appears that the new manager does not keep records of personal vs. work related miles. If that is so then they really can’t prove that use of the vehicle is de minimis and not more personal than business. Perhaps the county needs to update the 2015 Personal Policy Final (the most current I could find on their website) to require documentation of vehicle usage as business or personal by employees who get to commute in county vehicles. And, how the fringe benefit of personal use of a company vehicle would be calculated and added to the employees W-2 if unreasonable personal usage occurred.
Commissioners, please do not expect support for the hiring of more E911 personnel or the building/leasing/expanding of E911 space - I have heard the space is inadequate. Clearly the department head would rather have an incomprehensibly expensive rig than enhance the working environment for their employees. As Ms. Phinney noted, the cost of this rig is equivalent to a pair of new police cars -that is outrageous.
JL Goldsmith, Dayton