SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - It's your money and we're watching it very closely. Last week weexposed how many city vehicles go home every night with Springfieldworkers.
22News Reporter Jaclyn Cashman asked the department with themost vehicles going home why it's necessary.
Twenty-five Parks Department employees are allowed to park theircity vehicle in their driveway at night; about five of them take itacross city lines.
Department Head, Patrick Sullivan, said with 3,000 acres of openspace it is important for these employees to have access to carsfrom the start of their day.
Patrick Sullivan also said these workers are in these cars a lotthroughout the day and use them as their office. The ParksDepartment has about eighty vehicles, meaning more than half stayon city property every night.
Sullivan told 22News when these workers would use their own carsmany of them were getting vandalized. The marked city vehiclesprevent this from happening as much.
These drivers have to declare this perk on their taxes, which isconsidered income.
Mayor Domenic Sarno would not grant us an on-camera interview,but did provide us with a statement that says, in part, "Most takehome City vehicles are used by city personnel that may be requiredto respond to an emergency situation. The City is also required toprovide some city vehicles to Department Heads pursuant tocontractual obligations."
Even if Mayor Domenic Sarno wanted to stop letting cityemployees to take home vehicles it would be an uphill battle,considering former Mayor Michael Albano tried to do this, but lostto union pressure.
Clemen Chelli, from Springfield's Law department, told 22Newsthe Mayor can't just take cars away from city workers, because thatis part of the bargaining agreement put into place during contractnegotiations.