The Daily News has been taking advantage of City Comptroller John Liu's checkbooknyc.com, which tracks city spending online. And this time, they've found government workers spaying up to $263.25 to get their cars washed. The city has spent about $280,000 so far this year on car washes, $177,000 of which was spent by the NYPD on their 3,000 vehicle fleet. But Stephen Goldsmith, who is trying to save the city $500 million, said he'll let this one slide. He told the tabloid, "There are important reasons why having police cars look good is really important. They're a symbol of the city."
The News also uncovered that the city has few rules regarding how to spend their $283 million vehicle maintenance budget. Vehicles are repaired at both city-owned and private garages, there are no rules on how often cars must be washed, and employees are allowed to wash the cars anywhere on the city's dime. And though agencies can sometimes negotiate deals with nearby washers, prices vary.
The Service Employees International Union is trying to convince the government to stop sending their employees to private businesses, and to give repair work to union members. President Joseph Colangelo said, "Sending work out all the time isn't the most cost-efficient way to do business. Our members are not in the business of turning a profit, and we don't cut corners."