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City manager calls take-home vehicle audit report wrong

By Staff | Apr 21, 2009

Cape Coral City Manager Terry Stewart denied one of the more glaring contentions of the city’s take-home vehicle audit report Monday, saying the city is not paying insurance on more vehicles than it owns.
“The finding that the city is paying insurance on more cars than it owns is inaccurate,” he said after Monday’s city council meeting.
But the audit report states that, “We also examined the listing of insured vehicles. This listing included 920 on road vehicles. Subsequently, we requested from each department confirmation of the vehicles in their possession and after extensive work to reconcile differences we arrived at a final count of 845.”
Stewart declined to go into more detail about the audit’s finding, preferring instead to present his take on city management’s handling of the city’s fleet during a workshop discussion.
Councilmember Bill Deile, who attended the audit committee’s meeting last week in which the report was discussed, intended to broach the subject of the audit Monday during his report to council at the end of their meeting, but suggested a more comprehensive approach be taken during a workshop meeting.
“I would prefer to do it as a workshop. It would give the city manager more of an opportunity, more of a chance to address what he has done to answer the report,” Deile said.
According to the take-home vehicle audit report, city management agreed with many of the recommendations it contained, including creating a comprehensive recording system for all vehicles, monitoring personal use of vehicles to ensure there is an economical or operational benefit, and complying with IRS requirements regarding take-home vehicles for city employees.
Stewart, though, stressed that management did not agree entirely with the report’s findings.
“We agreed with many of the recommendations in the audit, but not all. I think there’s some misinformation that’s being circled in the community and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to address some of those issues,” he said.
The issue could appear on the council’s agenda as early as Monday.