Sunday, July 03, 2005

COLD-PLATED (UNDERCOVER) VEHICLES: these are DLSE vehicles that do not have the "E" license plate, which is for 'exempt.' FYI, the diamond shaped "E" is for state vehicles, and the octagon shaped "E" plate is for county and city vehicles. DLSE cold-plated cars have regular license plates, so no one knows that they're registered as DLSE enforcement vehicles. First, the politics of the DLSE state vehicles: management drives the best vehicles, then the management favorites get the second best vehicles, and then there's the leftovers. DLSE managers drive their own vehicle, which is always preferable than using a single, pooled vehicle among several possible managers whose duties rarely require them to leave their desks. Besides, how can all these managers get to and from home/work with only one, shared vehicle? Basically, management's state-issued vehicles are their personal commute vehicles with some occasional field activity; that's the justification to keep their vehicle. Management also has their pecking order with cold-plated vehicles: the favorites have them, and the non-favorites don't. Meanwhile, DLSE staff who complete the field work and need the cold-plated vehicles don't receive them because DLSE management want their nice, taxpayer-paid vehicle with taxpayer-paid gas to get them to and from home/work. Certain managers have no ethical issues with using these cars as their personal commute vehicle, as ethics is not a training module at the DLSE. If you'd like to review the mileage records of some of these managers, just complete a Public Records Act (PRA) request and mail it to: Thomas Grogan-Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, PO Box 420603; San Francisco, CA 94142. For example, you can request the mileage logs that bear the signatures of Greg Rupp, Abigael Calva, Susan Nakagama, Lauro Cons, and Gretchen Torregano. Specifically, you'll want to ask for state form STD 273-the Monthly Travel Log. If the state ever responds, then look at the miles for each day of use, look at mileage patterns, and ask what was done that day to warrant all those miles (and all that gas!) on a DLSE-issued vehicle. Having a cold-plated vehicle also lends itself to potential abuse, as you can easily identify an "E"-plated state vehicle that is visiting the mall, the grocery store, or kid pick-up at day care. A vehicle bearing an "E" license plate might bring unwanted attention to the driver dropping off children at school.