St Pete City Council candidates weigh in on car allowances for top administrators

When asked about the story Tuesday morning, Democrat Charlie Gerdes told CL "yeah it bothers me," adding that he was "amazed," that he hadn't learned about this from some of the budget forums having already taken place this summer. "That's a lot of money," he says.

Republican Bob Kersteen, who boasts of his conservative credentials with the dollar, says he thinks it would okay for the city to have a few pool cars for certain engagements, but calls the program as detailed in the Times "extravagant."

And Democrat Josh Shulman says that with all of the budget cuts taking place at City Hall, he was surprised to learn about the program, that costs the city over $200,000 annually.

As reported by Van Sickler in the Times, most of the monthly car allowances range between $92 to $135, and have been a regular benefit for years.


The St. Pete Times Michael Van Sickler has followed up with his scoop from last Sunday on the fact that 141 administrators inside St. Pete's City Hall receive a car allowance that totals up over $200,000 annually.

In the new piece, Mayor Bill Foster defends the controversial program, saying:

"In light of the fact that these employees haven't received a pay increase in three years, I'm not going to take money out of their pocket" this coming year, Foster said. "But I am looking at how car allowances fit into the 2013 budget.

All three candidates running in an election in St. Pete's District 1 next month tell CL that they have some serious questions about this ongoing benefit.

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