A report from the city’s Fleet Services Bureau concludes that hundreds of vehicles are not needed and their elimination, coupled with operational changes in the bureau, could save the city millions of dollars, according to the Long Beach Gazette
newspaper on April 7. A 20-page version of the report was presented to the City Council on April 6. After lengthy debate, the Council approved allowing the city manager to begin implementing the portions of the report he believes are feasible, with the caveat that he come back to the council with recommendations on the other parts of the report.The report offers 81 recommendations that, if implemented, could save the city $6.3 million annually across department budgets, as well as in the General Fund. Half of that savings would come from reducing the city’s 1,877 fleet of vehicles and equipment by 427, and by replacing more than 200 large vehicles with smaller ones, more fitting with their intended use, the report said. City Manager Jerry Miller and Long Beach Energy Director Chris Garner said that they were moving forward with eliminating 227 vehicles. Garner said he met with various department heads whose departments would be affected by the vehicle elimination — the majority of cars recommended are used by Public Works and police — and came to a consensus on those 200-plus.The other half of the savings would result from implementing a number of measures, including evaluating donated vehicles that no longer have a dedicated funding source, leasing options, the vehicle replacement schedule and outsourcing the currently over-inventory parts stock room.Operationally, the report suggests Fleet Services could save money by putting mechanics on a swing shift, better manage mechanic productivity, implement a mechanic certification training program, among other things. Garner said “quite a few of the recommendations” had been implemented.