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The recent News article about the Giambra administration's efforts to reduce the county's automobile fleet are not based in fact. With information culled from The News, let's review these "efforts."

In 2000, County Executive Joel Giambra made a wildly exaggerated claim about the size of the county's auto fleet, in an attempt to embarrass the previous Democratic administration. After learning the true figures, The News brought this information to light.

While supposedly seeking to reduce the county's auto fleet, the administration spent $35,000 in taxpayer dollars to purchase a new sport utility vehicle for Giambra from a dealership that contributed to his election campaign.

His two deputy executives and the county budget director are provided 24-hour use of taxpayer-funded county automobiles, complete with free gasoline. What's more, the deputy commissioner for Buildings and Grounds routinely keeps not one, but two county vehicles at his disposal. Giambra's brother-in-law was hired at a salary of $45,000-plus per year to "manage" the auto fleet.

The News should be less eager to accept Giambra's claims in his news releases when his own figures clearly demonstrate that the truth is to the contrary. It is readily apparent that his administration is far more interested in coddling political appointees and gaining a positive press "spin" than in actually running the government efficiently.



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