Over-indulgence in state-provided cars isn't the only excess in the state Department of Community Correction according to some extensive correspondence I received recently. But the free state cars are a good place to start and the Democrat-Gazette put out the details this morning. Its officials can't give up a single one of the almost 400 state cars provided to staff, including apparently just about every ranking central office administrator in Little Rock. All are required to be outfitted with car for "emergency response."
1) It would be interesting to see how many "emergency responses" are tallied in a year at Community Correction.
2) Wouldn't it be cheaper to reimburse a state employee for a use of his or her vehicle in the occasional emergency response than to buy, maintain and fuel a 400-car fleet?
3) Doesn't the fact that a department spokesman says many cars are assigned based on seniority give the lie to the defense that car decisions are based on need rather than as a perk?
4) If Gov. Mike Beebe really is serious about cleaning up the state fleet scandal, it's going to mean drilling down into this and other agencies that see themselves as too powerful to be treated like the rest of the peons.