Staff vehicle use sparks discussion in Bay Roberts council

By Mark Squibb

Staff vehicle allowances got an airing at Bay Roberts council last month after chief administrative officer Nigel Black presented a report on the matter.
Black explained the matter got some internal discussion after the question arose of how the Town’s purchase of new vehicles might affect the practise of reimbursing staff for using their personal vehicles for work.
Deputy Mayor Geoff Seymour said the consensus of a committee of the whole meeting, which is essentially a closed door session of council and staff, was to adopt the policy, but, looking ahead, work on purchasing town vehicles to replace the use of allowances in the years to come.
“I’m in favour of adopting this and putting it in place, but maybe at the next committee meeting, if we do some number crunching, maybe we can make some progress this year,” said Seymour. “But as of now, I’m in support of this.”
Councillor Silas Badcock concurred with Seymour’s assessment.
“When I look at the numbers, I see that we should probably be using Town vehicles,” said Badcock. “I have no problem paying anyone for using their own vehicles, but I would like to see, eventually, this taken away, and have vehicles here that we can use.”
Councillor Dean Franey agreed with Badcock, while Mayor Walter Yetman noted that questions about insurance coverage fueled the discussions in part.
Yetman added that reimbursement rates have held steady for over 15 years.
“That’s a long time to be without an increase in these rates,” said the mayor.
The policy, which was to come into effect April 1, was approved unanimously.

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