16 March 2015
Dear Brother and Sister Tonini,
Before your missionary entered the Oregon Eugene Mission (OEM), they were sent a form to read and sign which is part of the Church's driver certification process. This form is titled "My Commitment to Drive". Some items included in this form, and to which your missionary committed to do, was "Take care of their assigned vehicle, keep items off the roof, hood, and trunk, be careful when transporting luggage or bicycles, note any maintenance problems and report them as soon as possible."
We are having issues in the OEM with minor accidents going unreported such as scratches, dings and dents to our cars. We need to know of this damage as it occurs so that we can discuss how it happened while it is fresh in the missionaries mind and then we can implement policies to curtail this damage.
Mission vehicles are taken out of service at approximately 50,000 miles and prepared for sale. We are currently spending more than $2,000 on average per car to fix the scratches, dings and dents. We are keenly aware of our responsibility to use sacred tithing funds wisely (widow's mite principle). Spending tithing dollars on these repair costs reduces the money received from the sale which reduces the money the church has available to spend on purchasing new replacement cars.
In 2014, to encourage timely reporting of these incidents a new policy was introduced in the mission patterned after the model used by rental car companies. It is referred to as the "OEM Avis/Hertz Policy". The key points of this policy are:
- Immediately, or as soon as it is noticed, report any scratches, dings or dents to the vehicle coordinator.
- Each time a missionary is assigned to different car they are to look over the car and discuss any deficiencies they find, such as scratches, dings or dents with the vehicle coordinator.
- If there are unreported deficiencies, the cost to repair the unreported scratches, dings, or dents will be shared equally with the companionship that previously used the car.
Each quarter the vehicle coordinator, as part of zone conferences, inspects all the cars and records any damage found. The vehicle coordinator also keeps on file pictures that missionaries email when they report damage to their car. Even with all this, at the last zone conference inspection there were a number of cars that had unreported damage. Therefore, we find it necessary to strictly enforce the financial consequences of the "OEM Avis/Hertz Policy."
We hope that there would never be a need to require a missionary to pay for unreported damage and ask that you encourage your missionary to comply with this policy. By being more careful with the church's cars we will reduce the cost of repairing them for sale.
H. Jeffrey Russell (Mission President) Elder John Dixon (Vehicle Coordinator)
cc: Elder Tonini