Flaggs wants motorpool for state considered

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2001

[01/10/01] State Rep. George Flaggs Tuesday echoed a Legislative PEER Committee report by saying the state needs better management of travel-related expenses.

Specifically, Flaggs, D-Vicksburg, told about 15 members of the Vicksburg Kiwanis Club that he wrote a bill that would form a committee to study establishing a uniform motorpool.

Having a larger fleet of vehicles, he said, might be less expensive than paying mileage reimbursements to employees for heavy use of their personal vehicles.

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On the other hand, Flaggs said, centralized management might end issuing cars or trucks to some. “I think some of the vehicles we have purchased are not necessary,” Flaggs said.

As of September, there were 8,744 state-owned vehicles. The acquisition cost for those vehicles is $163 million.

The PEER report also identified varying standards from agency to agency on who gets a car and who gets reimbursement as an area for savings.

Flaggs said with the state being about $92 million short in the projected budget, a uniform motorpool could be a more efficient way to use state dollars.

“We have been spending and spending and it has caught up with us and we are going to have to re-evaluate how we are doings things, which is good,” Flaggs said.

A motorpool, where state employees could go to request an automobile, would mean the state would not have to purchase as many vehicles, Flaggs said.

“It would save a lot of wear and tear on vehicles and I think it would save the state a lot of money,” he said. “If you needed the vehicle for the day or a week then you could get it.”

During his 30-minute talk, Flaggs also touched on the decision to let the state flag issue go to the polls. The House voted Tuesday to allow voters to choose the state flag design. The Senate is expected to pass the bill this week.

“I think this is the most democratic way to handle it,” Flaggs said.

A statewide election could be held April 17 where voters would choose between two flag designs. The two designs include the present banner with the Confederate battle flag in the upper left corner and the other, a new design with a circle of 20 stars on a blue field in the upper left hand corner.

“People can now go to the ballot box and express how they feel,” Flaggs said.