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Gloucester City Taxpayers Own 91 Motorized Line Items (MLI) Costing Over $21 Million


By William E. Cleary and Dorothy Philbin 


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Above, the Peterbilt trash truck, purchased by taxpayers in 2021, cost $193,000. In 2020, the taxpayers purchased a 2020 ISUZU street sweeper for $214,000. This year the taxpayers spent $450,000 to buy a Freightliner Camel Jet-Vac.  The Public Works Department has 31 Motorized Line Items (MLI) valued at $3,181,813. The oldest piece of equipment in that department is a 1995 front-end loader purchased that year for $60,510. photo credit,


GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (CNBNewsnet)(October 10, 2022)--The other day, while walking on Broadway, we couldn't help to notice all the city vehicles that kept riding by. Curious to learn how extensive the City's equipment fleet was, we submitted an OPRA request for that information. We were surprised to know the city taxpayers own 91 motorized line items. The total cost for that equipment is $21,130,173.

There are two questions that come to mind.  First, do we need all these vehicles?  Even though many of them are fully depreciated, we still have to
insure them, put costly gas into them, and keep them mechanically Screen Shot 2022-08-25 at 17.07.17 maintained. And each year, the m
ayor and council add more equipment to that fleet of MLI. They recently passed a $1.1 million bond issue on September 29.  Some of the money from that bond will be used to purchase a $96,000 self-contained vacuum debris container and $144,000 for three sports utility vehicles. The total cost for each SUV is $48,000.  
The second reading and public hearing on that bond proposal are scheduled for October 27.
The Housing Department has six vehicles.  Why?  Years ago, the department consisted of one Construction Official, one Housing Inspector, and one person for clerical support.  There were no vehicles, as the two licensed officials used their personal cars and were reimbursed for mileage at the IRS rate of the time. 
Today there are six inspectors, plus two clerical support and six vehicles that cost $97,797 when
purchased.  Gloucester City hasn't gotten any bigger, just different over the years.
The employees in the Housing Office include: 
William Ackley           Chief Housing Officer   
Edward Gorman           Construction & Electrical
Michael DePalma         Building, Plumbing and Fire
Patrick Gartland          Code Enforcement
William Gallagher        Code Enforcement
Luke Driscoll               Code Enforcement
Christine Mellon          Technical Assistant - Permits
Janice Hill                    Clerk Typist
The next question is, "where are all the police cars?"  Looking back, there were four police cars: 51, 52, 53, and 51D (the detective's unmarked car.)  Today we have 32 police personnel and 32 vehicles.  This makes no sense.  Why does each person have his/her own car, and where are they? 
There should be four shifts, three each day, and the fourth covers days off.  Each car is used 25% of the time, maximum, and sits somewhere (where?) for the other 75% of the time.  The problem is:  where are these idle cars?
It was suggested that the officers take the cars home with them. It is or should be, common knowledge that property records are open to the public.  For New Jersey, they can be found on We rode around town looking for police cars.  Each day we took a different section of the city.
September 23 Police station = 4, officer's home 1, missing 27
September 26 Police station = 5, officer's home 1, missing 26
September 28 Police station = 6, officer's home 0, missing 26
September 29 Police station = 6, officer's home 0, missing 26
October 4       Police station = 7, one parked on Klemm Ave, one parked in GHS, missing 23
Several of our officers live out of town. Are the missing cars going out of town for their 75 percent idle time?   In one case, an officer lives 13 miles away.  So, if the officers are taking the cars home, we have a car that is unavailable if needed, and we're paying $3.59/gal for gasoline (soon to be much higher,) insurance, and maintenance.
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A further breakdown of the numbers documented on April 21, 2022, appears below.



The oldest piece of equipment in the Public Works department is a 1995 front-end-loader purchased that year for $60,510


This year the taxpayers purchased a Freightliner Camel Jet Vac for $450,000, which is the most expensive piece of equipment in the Public Works Department



City of Gloucester Employs 186 Employees; the 2018 Cost for Salaries $12.9M