Updated: Wednesday, 08 Jul 2009, 10:07 AM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 07 Jul 2009, 4:35 PM EDT
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - It's your money and we're watching it very closely. Last week we exposed how many city vehicles go home every night with Springfield workers.
22News Reporter Jaclyn Cashman asked the department with the most vehicles going home why it's necessary.
Twenty-five Parks Department employees are allowed to park their city vehicle in their driveway at night; about five of them take it across city lines.
Department Head, Patrick Sullivan, said with 3,000 acres of open space it is important for these employees to have access to cars from the start of their day.
Patrick Sullivan also said these workers are in these cars a lot throughout the day and use them as their office. The Parks Department has about eighty vehicles, meaning more than half stay on city property every night.
Sullivan told 22News when these workers would use their own cars many of them were getting vandalized. The marked city vehicles prevent this from happening as much.
These drivers have to declare this perk on their taxes, which is considered income.
Mayor Domenic Sarno would not grant us an on-camera interview, but did provide us with a statement that says, in part, "Most take home City vehicles are used by city personnel that may be required to respond to an emergency situation. The City is also required to provide some city vehicles to Department Heads pursuant to contractual obligations."
Even if Mayor Domenic Sarno wanted to stop letting city employees to take home vehicles it would be an uphill battle, considering former Mayor Michael Albano tried to do this, but lost to union pressure.
Clemen Chelli, from Springfield's Law department, told 22News the Mayor can't just take cars away from city workers, because that is part of the bargaining agreement put into place during contract negotiations.