HISTORY OF FLEET MANAGEMENT
In 1982, the Fleet Management operation was privatized and was run for four years by ARA and for the second four years by Ryder/MLS. In 1990, at the end of the second four years of the contract, control of the operation was returned in-house. In 1992, a new 40,000 square foot facility was built on a ten acre site in Fort Myers. Unfortunately, there were many problems due to the high debt service for building the new plant, along with ever-increasing employee costs. In addition, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection found that hazardous waste allegedly had been transferred to the new facility, which resulted in a substantial fine. The Department's debt became alarmingly high, nearly $1 million above and beyond the annual debt service obligations.
Armed with strong business and finance expertise, the newly appointed Fleet Manager set about the tasks at hand, cutting costs and raising employee morale, which was at an all-time low because of the continuing talk of re-privatization. Extreme cost-cutting measures were instituted, including re-configuring staff responsibilities. Further reductions were accomplished through eliminating non-essential positions and not filling job vacancies.
Additional work was brought in to raise more revenue, spending and accounts payable were reconfigured, personnel costs reduced, recycling increased, stricter budgeting instituted, and close monitoring of environmental regulations was enforced.
Today, Lee County Government's Fleet Management Division is strong and financially stable. With a staff of 32 employees, Fleet Management maintains more than 1,800 vehicles that are used by the county's 25 departments and divisions each day in providing services to residents. The fleet includes everything from passenger cars, light duty trucks and commercial vans to ambulances, graders and super-duty construction trucks and equipment. The division has an adopted operating budget of $10,638,435.
Creativity and innovation were the true keys to the fleet's rehabilitation. Our goal is to "always be better." When people think of the best fleet, we want them to think of us.