Aberdeen city government was recently criticized by some members of the public and one city council member for its failure to reduce spending.
But despite a modest property tax rate decrease approved for the 2012 city budget, the tough economic climate hasn't deterred Aberdeen, or other local governments for that matter, from getting rid of a time honored perk – city-owned take home cars for employees.
The city manger, however, says take-home cars for city staff are limited.
City Manager Doug Miller said a number of city employees are allowed to take government vehicles home, although the mayor does not get his own car.
Mayor Mike Bennett is a part-time elected official.
Eight public works employees, including director Matt Lapinsky, as well as all sworn police officers, are allowed to take home cars, according to Miller.
"They can take those home point-to-point if they live within 25 miles of the city," Miller said.
The mayor is allowed to use a pool vehicle, Miller said, and "only lives 50 yards from city hall."
The employees who get their own cars are: the director of public works, two water and wastewater operators, a water and wastewater mechanic, the streets superintendent, the assistant streets superintendent, the person who runs the Aberdeen Proving Ground water and wastewater system and a contractor for the APG system.
Miller also has a city-owned take home car.