Supervisor Neil Derry
Posted: 12/12/2010 06:10:46 PM PST

About a year and a half ago, I asked our top San Bernardino County executive to commence a study to evaluate the management of our vehicle fleet and to determine whether or not we were efficiently using taxpayer resources. This request was largely ignored until Greg Devereaux, our current chief executive officer, came aboard and carried out the request.

I have been briefed on the nearly 200-page report by Mercury Associates Inc. Analysts thoroughly studied our operations and have offered up praise and constructive critiques that they believe would result in annual savings in excess of $1.6 million ($1.2 million due to centralization and $400,000 in fuel purchasing). They also calculated the cost of take home vehicles to exceed $4 million a year – a matter that will receive ongoing review by our leadership as we continue to deal with potential budget reductions.

Mercury submitted an extensive list of recommendations for the near-, short- and long-term time horizons. Without getting into the minutiae of each specific recommendation, it is fair to say that most of these recommendations appear to be realistically achievable. Now would be an appropriate time to acknowledge Mr. Devereaux for his leadership and commend him for implementing five of the recommendations before the report was even finalized.

The primary thrust of the study centered on the fact that although the county has an existing fleet management division, the sheriff’s department and the fire department also separately manage their fleets. Additionally, some departments purchase fuel at private commercial facilities instead of the county yards. Thus, the study concluded that greater centralization of vehicle maintenance would result in significant savings in addition to enhanced bulk purchase price reductions in the cost of fuel should the entire county fleet make a concerted effort to purchase fuel from county yards.

On page 52 of the Countywide Fleet Operations Review section of the report, the study concluded that our existing fleet management division was an excellent foundation upon which the county could centralize operations and that current levels of service provided to other departments was exemplary. In fact, it was suggested that preventive maintenance intervals exceeded industry practice.

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