Hard questions for Vienna

I attended the Vienna City Council meeting and was as usual under impressed with the disrespect that is shown to the taxpayers/residents of this fine city. Had the usual comments on how there is not enough money to meet all the requests for money this year. Of course, when the departments submit wants versus needs, there will never be enough money.

The city had no problem with authorizing a new vehicle for the mayor and a new police cruiser to replace one with 80,000 miles on it. But just yesterday, Mayor Newell of Parkersburg noted requesting money to replace vehicles with 100,000 to 140,000 miles on them.

What is the difference? Well, when I did several FOIAs on Mayor Nohe’s Mercury Esplanade, it was over six years old with 60,000-plus on it. But what stood out was that the vehicle appeared to have been run into the ground. Sure, bought new tires twice; did detail work lots of times; but had almost no records on any maintenance that would be expected on a vehicle. Two oil changes in that period of time, according to records provided to me, and one of those was done in January 2013 after he left office. When I asked for the owner’s book and the maintenance log for the vehicle, they were non-existent. Seems that the issue in Vienna is a questionable maintenance program. If one is going to run vehicles for 60K or 80K and maybe not take care of them, they will fail.

Now the other new vehicle was a Ford product for Mayor Rapp. This vehicle was “like” the police vehicles in use and supposedly the same as the other new purchase. A good question could be: is the city buying vehicles that are specifically built for the wear and tear expected of a police car? Or, is it a civilian vehicle with thousands and thousands for lights, sirens, horn and camera, with other bells and whistles?

A question again, why does the mayor need a vehicle like the police vehicles? As much as he is out on photo shoots, I would think a four-door sedan with hybrid features to maximize mileage needs. City budget director starting his “we have over $7 million in requests and not enough money.” Not really a problem, city will as always budget into every available dollar.