Ann Arbor spending $48K per year on vehicle allowances for city employees
The city of Ann Arbor has 16 employees who receive monthly vehicle allowances that cost city taxpayers more than $48,000 a year combined, city records show.
AnnArbor.com received a report on those allowances this week in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, showing they range from $200 to $375 a month.
- Colin Smith, parks and recreation manager — $200
- Jeff Straw, parks and recreation deputy manager — $200
- Ralph Welton, chief development officer — $150
- Susan Pollay, DDA executive director — $315.63
- Annette Weber, city assessor's office — $200
- Michael Courtney, city assessor's office — $200
- David Petrak, city assessor's office — $200
- Amy Balogh, city assessor's office — $200
- Ryan Doletzky, city assessor's office — $200
- Patricia Forner, city assessor's office — $200
- Matt Warba, acting field operations manager — $300
- Dennis Crum, fleet and facilities supervisor — $300
- Matt Kulhanek, fleet and facilities manager — $300
- Earl Kenzie, wastewater treatment manager — $300
- Ellen Taylor, assistant fire chief — $375
- Greg Bazick, deputy police chief — $375
Monthly total: $4,015.63
The city has moved away from offering vehicle allowances as cash perks to top administrators. For instance, the city administrator and city attorney no longer receive them.
However, city leaders maintain vehicle allowances are an administratively efficient way to reimburse certain employees who do a lot of driving on the job — without making them keep track of every mile they drive and fill out lengthy mileage reimbursement forms every month.
But an auditor raised concerns recently that the city is letting employees with vehicle allowances still claim mileage reimbursements for out-of-town trips.
AnnArbor.com has another FOIA request pending with the city for records showing which employees have city-provided vehicles they are able to take home and commute to and from work with.
The city's expenses related to vehicle allowances have decreased considerably in the last few years, going from $88,208 in 2010 to $85,160 in 2011 to $79,788 in 2012, and now about $48,000. A number of employees have dropped off the vehicle allowance list, including the city administrator, city attorney, police chief, fire chief, service area administrators and more.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at email@example.com or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.