Fleet Manager Fired Days After Recommending Fleet Downsizing
MILWAUKEE, WI — Dan Blosser, fleet manager for the Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW), was fired only days after submitting a report about getting rid of underused vehicles to save tax dollars, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
At least that's the case among some aldermen searching for ways to cut city spending. After heaping praise on Blosser and criticizing public works administrators, a Common Council committee voted on March 23 to give DPW officials 30 days to decide how to cut the fleet.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, public works officials say Blosser's firing was not related to his report. The city attorney and Department of Employee Relations say the firing was justified. “The critical fact, at least for city taxpayers, is that Blosser has done a public service by focusing renewed attention on the size of the city's fleet and the strong possibility that money might be saved by selling vehicles that are not being driven much,” according to an editorial written in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Blosser's report, for instance, looked at 121 vehicles, most assigned to public works managers, that rarely left the city parking structure on three days he checked in January.
Alderman Joe Dudzik, a committee member, was incensed by some of the responses he got as to why some managers have cars. Dudzik was quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as saying: "I had one guy tell me I'm threatening his family's second car," Dudzik told the committee. "We're laying off people left and right. You can lose your city car or you can lose your job. That's where we are, budgetarily."
The issue of how many vehicles the city of Milwaukee has was raised last fall in an audit by Comptroller Wally Morics' office. That audit, which focused on cars and pickups in DPW and other departments, suggested that the 627 vehicles examined could be cut by more than 40 percent.