Fair Lawn resident and county employee JoMarie Sacchinelli was awarded the county's Taxpayer Advocate Award last week for saving county taxpayers $650,000 by reducing the county's car fleet.
Over the past year, Sacchinelli, the coordinator of monitoring and evaluation in the county's Public Works Department, worked to downsize the county's fleet of vehicles in an effort to reduce operational costs.
County Executive Kathleen Donovan praised Sacchinelli in a statement released Tuesday.
“JoMarie Sacchinelli is the epitome of what public servants should be doing for their constituents and that is saving money for the taxpayers,” Donovan said. “In my State of the County address in 2011, I said we would focus on reducing the car fleet and, thanks to JoMarie, we have done that.”
Sacchinelli's cost-saving plan involved making a 10 percent reduction in the county's fleet of vehicles by removing non-essential vehicles through public auction, instituting a regular preventative maintenance program, purchasing utility vehicles instead of pickup trucks, introducing a GPS system and making joint bids between departments and divisions for new vehicles.
Bergen County Freeholder Chairman John D. Mitchell called Sacchinelli's introduction of a GPS system “an outstanding management tool."
“It has been the desire of this Board of Chosen Freeholders, as advocates of reducing your property taxes and taxes in general, to motivate and identify employees that work for the county that have done exceptional jobs in reducing taxpayer costs,” Mitchell said in a statement. “Mrs. Sacchinelli is a perfect example of this; by rethinking how the county fleet was managed, she saved hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.”
Sacchinelli said she was motivated to rework the composition of the county fleet in an effort to save money for taxpayers, like herself.
“This is my money and I pay the tax bill, as well," Sacchinelli said in a statement. "My goal is to save more money. I hope to save another half-million dollars next year.”
The Taxpayer Advocate Award, bestowed annually by the Bergen County Freeholder Board, was instituted by Freeholder John Mitchell to spotlight county employees who have taken it upon themselves to find savings in their respective areas. Since the award's inception, taxpayers have realized $1,642,000 in savings.