The past week has brought good news from both Governor Jindal and Mayor Landrieu regarding cutbacks in the number of employee take-home cars. As noted in a Times-Picayune editorial, when Governor Jindal took office, Louisiana’s fleet of employee cars was 10th largest in the nation. This is ludicrous, particularly when one considers the relative size of our state.
In response, the Governor’s office reduced the number of government vehicles from 12,740 to 11,739. This has resulted in an estimated savings of $3.6 million dollars. Furthermore, the Governor has partnered with the Louisiana Property Assistance Agency (LPAA) to auction off the unneeded vehicles. So far this has produced a profit of $1,791,405 in addition to the aforementioned savings.
The elimination of these taxpayer subsidized perks is a good thing, especially in light of the municipal and statewide budget crises. It is also promising that Mayor Landrieu has announced the elimination of 464 take–home cars from the city budget. That this announcement comes on the heels of news that Ray Nagin wasted $1 million on the ill-fated hiring of a technology contractor only emphasizes the need for government streamlining and reduction. The mayor was dead-on in pronouncing the virtues of his decision. “The revised policy will save hundreds of thousands of dollars annually and is just another way we are streamlining government, eliminating waste, and more effectively managing city assets.”