Jimmy Mac Answers

Fact or Fiction: Cars for Administrators

I’ve had several questions from concerned parents about my vote for the purchase of service vehicles. Below is the rationale behind my decision.

First of all: the funds used to purchase the vehicles were from SPLOST IV and were not eligible for the delivery of instruction; only on capital projects.

Here is supporting documentation regarding the purchase of the service vehicles for everyone’s review. Please download and follow along.

The PDF has the list of vehicles the BOE authorized to purchase during the March 20, 2013 work session.

Page 2, “Support Service” is the section that people are questioning.

Fifteen 2013 Ford Fusions were purchased at a per car cost of $20,914.27 and a total cost of $313,714.05.

As a taxpayer and advocate for all available funds to be spent in the classroom and school house, I too was concerned about the expenditures.

Here is the explanation for why a vote to purchase the cars was a smart decision:

  • Page 3 of the PDF explains the “Departments” that each of the cars are assigned.
  • Prior to the vehicle purchase these employees used their personal vehicles for work travel, because we had no work vehicles except work trucks.
  • Please notice the vehicles that these cars replaced were trucks or vans with high mileages that were 126,670 miles or higher.
  • The reimbursement rate for work related travel is currently 0.56 per mile.
  • Based on the amount of miles the district employees were traveling and the costs for expense reimbursement, the net cost/benefit analysis showed the district would create substantial savings if these employees were driving district cars.

Here’s the math:

  • Cost per car is $20,914.27, divided by 0.56 per mile reimbursement equals 37,346.91 miles that is required to break even versus the up-front cost of the car.
  • Take a look at the cars (Page 1, Public Safety) for total mileage of the sedans that were “retired” due to their end of life. One car was retired after 100,751 miles, and the remaining cars had in excess of 155,232 miles.
  • For instance, let’s take the car with 100,751 miles. The reimbursement rate would have been $56,420.56 versus the cost of the car of $20,914.27 or a savings of $35,506.29.
  • Let’s look at the highest mileage car, 319,817 miles. The reimbursement rate would be $179,097.52 or a savings of $158,183.25.
  • The cars arrived in the fall of 2013 and have already accumulated 41,893 miles in just a few months. The mileage numbers are from the end of February.

I will request the year end mileage in July to show the total miles driven for accountability purposes.

The decision was made to benefit the taxpayers and reduce the amount of money spent by our central office and support divisions.

Jim McMahan's DeKalb County School Board Election Website