Employee cars become issue for Brewton council

Published 4:57 pm Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Brewton council members engaged in a discussion Monday over how to curb city employees’ use of city-owned vehicles. Councilman Pat Poole initially made a motion — seconded by Councilman Joe Watson — that all city-owned vehicles stay parked at the city shop unless they are used by department heads or employees on call.

But after some discussion on the motion, Poole rescinded it as long as the council develops a policy on the matter soon.

“We need a comprehensive policy limiting employees’ use of city vehicles,” Poole said.

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Mayor Yank Lovelace said the council members have been looking at other cities’ policies to determine the best course of action.

“I do want to continue the dialogue,” Poole said. “But I want a temporary measure. Maybe this will cause us to come up with a policy.”

Lovelace said a permanent policy would be better than a temporary measure.

“I don’t know how the city is going to operate without a set of rules,” he said. “Shooting from the hip is not a good way to operate.”

Watson said parking city vehicles after hours “does not have anything to do with the day-to-day operation of the city.” But Lovelace responded that, “We operate 24 hours a day.”

After the discussion, Poole rescinded his motion. “My intent is not to cripple the City of Brewton,” he said, noting he simply wanted employees not to take vehicles home unnecessarily or use them after hours. “I will withdraw my motion provided this problem is addressed,” he said.