Enclosed is a copy of a letter I recently sent to the mayor.
To the mayor of Pryor:
Having recently moved to this area, we’ve been confused by some of the things we’ve seen going on in this city. It’s about one of these issues I’m deeply concerned.
On Nov. 6, my wife and I pulled into Joe’s convenience store to purchase some gas when I noticed a fellow coming out of the store and getting into a truck that was obviously a city vehicle because it had a street department emblem.
I asked someone inside who the guy driving the truck was and one of the patrons said he was the street department supervisor, Mr. Downing, I believe he said. I asked if Pryor allows its employees to use city vehicles for personal use. Another customer said “oh he does that all the time, but he’s not the only one.”
My response was, “well, is that permitted? Do the taxpayers think it’s OK for city employees to use city property for their own use?”
A third patron said “well, that’s just the way it is in Pryor. Too many employees working on the city payroll take advantage of their positions.”
The reason this situation drew my attention is because the man had a small child with him. It was after 6 p.m., so I assume he wasn’t on the clock. Why is it that the city of Pryor and its citizens should have to pay for a vehicle that certain city employees feel they have the right to use for their own personal business?
The company I work with furnishes me with a vehicle, but it’s understood that it’s to be used only for company business. I’m on call 24 hours a day, which I understand is the case with department heads, but I’m still not permitted to use the company’s car to run personal errands or go to the store. Going to lunch during work hours I can understand, but not after work for personal business.
The big concern my wife brought to question was what would be the city’s responsibility if that child was injured should the driver have an accident. Would the citizens of Pryor be expected to foot the bill with increased taxes? If should be a city code or law that absolutely no one other than an employee be a passenger in a city vehicle. With the economy being what it is and with reading recently that the street department was running out of money to operate, I can’t help but think “I wonder why?”