Blacksburg Handling Take-Home Car Misuse Complaints -

Blacksburg Handling Take-Home Car Misuse Complaints

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Town of Blacksburg Public Works Vehicle Town of Blacksburg Public Works Vehicle

Employee take-home cars are causing controversy in Blacksburg. The town is working on a policy explaining the proper use of employee take-home vehicles. The issue came up at the most recent Blacksburg town council meeting.

Councilman Darren Janesky says he's getting complaints about employees using take home cars for personal use, even giving rides to family members.

"Hunting, fishing, flea markets," Janesky listed as examples. "Putting up tree stands in the woods, boat launches. It's insane."

Janesky says the complaints are coming in by phone and Facebook. 7 On Your Side took them to town leaders. Administrator Trudy Martin admits giving family members a lift is flat out wrong.

"That's a liability if there should be an accident," said Martin.

But Martin says when it comes to running personal errands, that's okay because some employees are considered on-call.

"They have to drive it," said Martin. "Like if they were going to Wal-Mart they have to drive their vehicle so they can immediately respond upon call."

But some still want a full investigation.

"When an employee gets behind a wheel of that vehicle, that employee is now entrusted with town funds," said Janesky. "That's town money. And if it is being abused, I don't think we should tolerate that."

Martin says department supervisors met with the employees who use the eight on-call cars. One worker received a write-up. But there will be no investigation.

"They assume that they are misusing the vehicle," said Martin. "And that's not always the case. They have a legitimate reason for using it. And that again is because they are the on-call personnel."

The town of Blacksburg says it's working quickly on a vehicle policy. That's because starting in April, Blacksburg Police will be allowed to take home their patrol cars too. And the town wants a written policy in place.

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