Seal of the City of Yonkers

Seal of the City of Yonkers

A plan to slap the Yonkers City seal on dozens of city cars has our backing even though lawmakers killed it along party lines.

The City Council on Tuesday struck down the measure by a 4-3 vote -- with Democrats, three of whom have city cars, opposing it. It would have branded certain vehicles with the city's signature George Washington seal. Cars used for police undercover or surveillance work would not have been affected.

The plan was intended to help ensure that public employees don't abuse their car perk. It certainly would make them think twice. And it would have come at a nominal cost.

It's too bad that New York's fourth-largest city even had to consider such a move, but the extra eyes -- from a public fed up with tales of abuse -- would have gone a long way toward deterring some employees from treating their taxpayer-funded cars as their own personal rides.

Yonkers has had its share of abuses over the years -- notably those highlighted in former city Inspector General Philip Zisman's report in 2009, which showed one employee driving hundreds of miles over weekends and on days off. Another was driving more than 100 miles while on vacation, and another was commuting 194 miles daily from Milford, Pa.

Shortly after Mayor Mike Spano, a Democrat, took office, he parked 40 of the city's 93 take-home cars and pledged to label the rest with Yonkers' emblem.

This latest initiative should have been simple enough to pass, but curiously, Democrats put the brakes on it.