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Revision to county vehicle policy approved

June 16, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a revision to the county's policy on use of county vehicles by employees that expands the existing three-page document to a detailed 15-page document with rules on personal use, incident reporting, cell phone use and other factors.

The changes are meant to reduce costs from vehicle accidents and liabilities, an effort required by the county's risk management policy, according to a report submitted to the commissioners by Risk Management Administrator Becky Maginnis. The revised policy in large part documents and clarifies current practices, Maginnis wrote.

The commissioners voted 4-1 to approve the revised policy, with Commissioner William J. Wivell opposed. Wivell said he wanted clarification about a provision that states tobacco use in county vehicles is "strongly discouraged" and requires unanimous consent of all passengers. Wivell questioned whether the policy is in conflict with the state's ban on smoking in public, indoor spaces.

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George William Sonnik III, the county's human resources director, said he would look into the smoking question and the commissioners could revise the policy later if needed.

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