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Despite Efforts to Cut, More than 1,500 NYC Officials Use City Vehicle for Drive to Work

April 26, 2004

More than 1,500 city officials enjoy the privilege of driving to work in taxpayer-funded cars, despite Mayor Bloomberg's attempts to cut the city's car fleet, says an article in the New York Post. A Post survey found that 1,547 city employees were given personal use of city cars last year - only five fewer than in 2002, despite the mayor cutting the city's car fleet by 774.At the fire department, 97 civilians took their city-issued cars home — just in case there's an emergency, officials say. But those on the FDNY list include the deputy commissioner for administration, and the assistant commissioner for equal employment opportunity. Neither would be a considered a first responder.All city commissioners are entitled to cars and that includes the commissioner of the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence, headquartered near city hall. Commissioner Yolanda Jimenez told the Post she needs to be mobile. "I crisscross the city to educate community groups," she said. The Department of Environmental Protection had the largest fleet of take-home vehicles — 362. Apart from field workers assigned to monitor New York's vast water system, cars also went to the general counsel, the deputy general counsel, and the treasurer of the Water Board. Officials said they frequently travel upstate.None of the explanations carries much weight with mass-transit advocates. One of those who voluntarily surrendered the perk is Budget Director Mark Page, an official who helps formulate the city's $45 billion budget. "He doesn't want a car," said an aide.
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