County settles on plan for vehicle decals

Jan 10, 2013 By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

The issue of vehicle decals continues to occupy the Fremont County Commission. The county board at its Jan. 8 meeting ran into disagreement as it decided the details of its logo policy.

Commissioners have for a year maintained that all county vehicles, aside from those doing undercover investigation, must bear a county decal. The commission circulated a memo stating the policy in January 2012 to all county departments and elected officials.

Having logos on county vehicles is an accountability issue, commission chairman Thompson said at the meeting.

"Who's out there driving county vehicles?" he said. "In the past there's been people used county vehicles for their personal use, hauling passengers."

Until this week, the size and other details of the required graphic were not specified. County Coroner Ed McAuslan also has resisted putting decals on two of his vehicles, saying the insignia could draw unwanted attention that might interfere with his work.

The commission wanted to standardize the logo because some departments have different graphics. Thompson said roads crew vehicles have different decals than the assessor's cars.

County Clerk Julie Freese added that building maintenance vehicles had still another set of markings.

After a brief discussion about the desired size, picture and color, the county board put together a policy.

Commissioner Keja Whiteman proposed the graphics be 12 inches by 12 inches and show an outline of the county. She recommended the decal should read "Fremont County" on top, with the name of the department using the vehicle listed at the bottom. In the case of a general county vehicle, the bottom would read "Government."

Vice-chairman Travis Becker added the policy should only apply to future graphics, grandfathering in decals already in use.

The policy applies to all vehicles, said Whiteman.

"And equipment," added Thompson.

Freese suggested that 12 by 12 inches be a minimum size, not the only size, and the commissioners added that change.

New commissioner Stephanie Kessler moved to amend the policy further.

"I do have a concern for our coroner, who to me has made a persuasive case, that at times he would not like to have that glaring sign of the county on his vehicle," she said.

Kessler added she had met with McAuslan and wanted to respect his professional opinion. She moved to amend the logo policy to allow for a magnetic, removable decal that otherwise fit the graphic standards.

With a removable marking, "in his professional judgment, he could do his job better for the citizens of Fremont County," Kessler said.

"Is there a second to the motion to amend?" Thompson asked.

No one spoke up, so Kessler's amendment died.

The commission then voted on the package of graphics standards . Only Kessler voted against the amendment, and the logo policy passed.

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