Monday, August 3, 2015

Corbett scraps "broken down" Rendell tour bus

Corbett scraps "broken down" Rendell tour bus


(Photo/Morning Call)

CORRECTION - The Attorney General's office had almost one vehicle for every two employees not two vehicles for every one employee. According, to a spokesman, there were 466 vehicles and nearly 800 employees in the department in 2010.

Gov. Corbett is scrapping one of the most visible leftovers of the Rendell administration: the 41-foot-bus the former governor used to tour the state.

Corbett held a press conference at a state garage in Harrisburg today to announce that he was sending "Commonwealth One' to auction as a message that he will make good on his promise to reduce waste and inefficiency in state government.

Corbett told reporters the bus "represents everything wrong with state government -- it's outdated, inefficient and broken down."

The bus - purchased by Rendell donors for his 2002 campaign and donated to the state in 2003 - needs $5,000 in repairs just to make it driveable and the gas mileage is lousy, Corbett said.

Since then, it has only been driven about 26,000 miles at a cost to the state of more than $66,000.

"A lot of that mileage was probably on the way to the repair shop," Corbett quipped. He said it would be auctioned by the Department of General Services in April or May.

True, the bus was plagued by breakdowns, but it also made it possible for Rendell to tour all corners of the state to meet with residents, says Rendell's former press secretary.

"It allowed Rendell to get to seee lots and lots of small communities, some of which had never seen a governor before," said Chuck Ardo. "Rendell wanted to mingle with people and take staff with him. The bus allowed for extended travel."

Ardo adds it would have cost more to take a plane to the same number of places.

Corbett said he is actively working to fulfill his campaign pledge to reduce the number of state vehicles, and a report reviewing the state fleet will be issued in April.

(The Attorney General's office last year under Tom Corbett, had almost two vehicles for every employee. By comparison, the Department of Environmental Protection - where many staff members work in the field - had almost one vehicle for every three employees, according to Department of General Services records)



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Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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