San Antonio, TX – A KSAT Defenders investigation into concerns about city cars parked outside a library turns up a cost saving measure.
On numerous occasions, the Defenders watched two different San Antonio Metro Health cars occupy parking spaces at Cody Branch Library on the Northwest Side.
The cars arrived generally on weekday afternoons and departed early on weekday mornings.
A nearby resident emailed the Defenders, concerned about whether the cars were safe in the parking lot. She did not want to be identified.
"If my tax dollars are paying for these things, why are they not being secured," the woman asked.
She hoped this was a cost saving measure for the city, but still questioned the wisdom of leaving the cars exposed in a parking lot.
"Couldn't they park in a police substation parking lot instead," she asked. "That, to me, would be a lot more secure than a public library that's abandoned at night."
The Defenders spoke to Stephen Barscewski, Sanitarian Services Manager at Metro Health, about the woman's concern.
Barscewski said the Metro Health fleet parks all over the city because that is where the food service inspectors work. "Their cars are their mobile offices," he added.
He said any damage or vandalism has been minimal and that the parking arrangement saves money. "It's a combination of cost savings to the city, fuel and time savings to the city," Barscewski said.
Barscewski said if damage did start occurring, changes would be made. He said the cars are used by food service inspectors who travel around to restaurants and hotels.
He said the places they inspect are on that specific side of town so it is more convenient than driving them back downtown.
"If it's saving the taxpayers or the city money I'm all for it," the concerned neighbor said.