Gomes Puts Brakes On Take-home Vehicles And OT, Announces New Procedures

Acting Chief Administrative Officer John Gomes issued a directive to city department heads on Friday informing that requests for take-home vehicles and overtime must come at his approval with priority given to “on-call emergency responders.”

Wednesday night Mayor Joe Ganim, Gomes and other city officials highlighted overtime as a problem area bloating the budget deficit, particularly in public safety and Public Facilities.

Memo from Gomes:

In order to improve agency accountability and coordination of effort, the following procedures are being implemented.

All take home vehicle privileges must be authorized on a situational basis by the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) after the request has been approved by their department assistant chief and overall chief. All agency heads who wish authorization for their personnel to take home city owned vehicle must submit a detailed request in writing for approval as indicated above. Priority will be given to on-call emergency responders. Request must contain a detailed explanation of the individual’s duties.

In addition, requests for administrative overtime must be submitted to the CAO in advance for final approval. The coordinator will be responsible for the management of all operational overtime and will develop policies for reduction while maintaining operational efficiency.

Please note that any violation of the above indicated rules/policies will result in disciplinary action by any of your superiors.

In addition Gomes issued this directive covering new procedures for city vehicles:

The Chief Administrative Office along with the Public Facilities Department would like to reinforce the City of Bridgeport Auto Policy attached here to. In addition, all drivers please adhere to the following new procedures effective immediately:

1). All supervisors are to collect keys and gas cards for vehicles on a daily basis and to be kept in a locked key box. No exceptions.

2). CAO’s office will be doing spot checks to insure these procedures are being adhered to.

3). All drivers must execute a City vehicle policy to be filed with Fernanda Oliveira in Public Facilities Department.

4). No switching of vehicles or drivers unless authorized by the CAO.

5). Inventory of all vehicles (per department) should be submitted to Fernanda Oliveira in Public Facilities Department no later than January 4, 2016.

6). Please note that any violation of the above indicated rules/policies will result in disciplinary action by any of your superiors.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in the safety, well-being, and protection of City of Bridgeport property.

See the city-owned vehicle policy here.

OT policy



  1. This is a start. We don’t need all these employees taking cars home. The people who bring the cars home say they need them in case of emergency and they are caked in. That’s baloney. Many years ago in the FD the only one who took a car home was the chief of the department. When I was on call with the arson squad and I got called in I had to drive my car to the firehouse and get the arson van. No big deal, I was making OT.

  2. Let’s start with fire chief Brian Rooney, who lives in Monroe past Stevenson dam. He took the fire department vehicle to pick up his wife at a New York airport and hit another vehicle. Did I mention the accident was his fault?

    Why should he have a department vehicle when you can count the times on one finger when he had to come back to Bridgeport on a fire department emergency? This is a blatant misuse of city resources and it should be stopped immediately.

  3. The Finch bunch put non Bpt license plates on city vehicles (like their own personal plate), after Finch said he was taking the city vehicles away.
    Somehow I think Gomes means business while Finch meant bullshit.

  4. How about Bridgeport police officers driving around Fairfield instead of Bpt? There have been so much times I’ve spotted Bridgeport police cars in Fairfield at Dunkin or even seen them chilling at Cumberland Farms in Fairfield, smh. How about patrolling Bpt?

  5. *** Nice start John, accountability and approval from Dept Heads in writing makes better responsible employees with penalties if rules are broken! Transparency and accountability with good fair policies and procedures all employees must sign off on after a staff meeting by Dept. Heads, no? They can’t say I didn’t know if they were at the meetings, and the information was reviewed with Q&A discussed with management and employees signing off with copies for all. *** GOOD LUCK ***

  6. Wow, does this mean no more clocking in 5 hours before a Snow Event for the Roadway Dept? No more Super Bowl Party on “The Clock?” No more washing and polishing the motorcycle on the clock? My my, how is one to build up pension benefits now? LOL!!!

  7. It makes no sense, but my understanding is the rate the city can charge for outside overtime is limited by the Police. It also requires the work be done by Police officers.

    This has been an issue for a long time.

    1. The city charges for the officer’s pay and an administrative fee. For contractors it’s about $80 an hour. There is usually an extra fee if the contractor requests a cruiser.

  8. The Mayor and his cabinet are NOT taking city cars home and are also doing huge furloughs, so keep the negative crap to yourself, Mr. Walsh, this is not Finch anymore.

  9. I must report I ran into John Gomes up at the Trumbull Shopping Park and he told me neither he nor the Mayor have take-home cars.
    And I told him … … …
    Keep up the good job.

  10. Wherever it’s a possibility (and it usually is), appointments should be residents of Bridgeport. Taxpayers are paying the salaries, the salaries should stay in Bridgeport. That one simple action will keep Ganim in the Mayor’s seat for as many terms as he chooses to give us.

  11. Bridgeport used to be one of Connecticut’s gems. Now it’s tarnished and rusted. The resources are there. All that’s needed is a mayor with the vision and ambition to clean it up.

  12. If Gomes is still the “acting” CAO, Ganim should make him permanent. He’s already done more for Bpt than Nunn did in eight years.

    Full disclosure: Wasn’t a hard thing to do.

    1. I hate to burst your bubble, but City vehicles are the low-hanging fruit most new Mayors start with.

      January 7, 2009: “It is our goal to significantly reduce the city take-home vehicle fleet, and the recent success in police contract negotiations limiting the number of take-home vehicles is one indicator of the work we will continue to do to cut costs and deliver savings to the taxpayers,” said Mayor Finch.

      Maybe Gomes will be outstanding, who knows? He is a Bridgeport resident, that’s a big plus over Nunn.

      1. I know this will come off as negative, but every administration starts with this directive, and I’m sure they’re well-intended, however it never lasts long. John Gomes seems to be vigilant so hopefully he’ll stay on it.

        1. Lisa, that’s sad but true. I believe there is an income-tax component to taking City-owned vehicles home for non-City business and they must file it on their income taxes.

          1. Ron, you are right or at least there should be. But I would be happy to pay the taxman his due on the value of the take-home rather than making the monthly lease or loan payment.

  13. Lisa,
    There is an ordinance on the books that says EVERY city-owned vehicle with the exception of some police vehicles must be identified as such. It even goes as far as to state the size of the lettering.
    This did not happen during G1 when everyone had a take-home.
    So let’s see how quickly John Gomes and John Ricci see this ordinance is enforced.
    It kind of takes the fun out of the take-home when you neighbors in Fairfield and Trumbull see your wheels belong to the city.


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