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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Hummer bummer

They may not have invented the political gravy train in The Region, but they sure know how to ride that thing:

GARY, Ind. - City officials are considering whether to stop allowing city employees, including police officers, to take cars home in a cost-cutting move. But Mayor Rudy Clay isn't ready to give up his city-leased Hummer.

Clay compares his 2006 Hummer H3 to the 2003 Ford Expedition, now owned by the city, that was driven by former Mayor Scott King. Taxpayers spent more than $9,000 a year for the car, city records show. The city is leasing Clay's Hummer for $5,000 a year.

"It's a very economical car," Clay said

Government agencies list King's 2003 Ford Expedition's gas mileage as 12 miles per gallon in the city, 17 on the highway. The Hummer's gas mileage is rated as 14 in the city and 18 miles on the highway.

Whoo -- 14 miles in the city and 18 on the highway. Man, that is one economical car. The mayor also has a paid driver, which he says he needs because he has to have his hands free. "I do a lot of work while I'm in the car." I bet. Sort of fits Leo Rosten's definition of Chutzpah: "gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, incredible 'guts,' presumption plus arrogance such as no other word and no other language can do justice to."


Bob G.
Wed, 06/18/2008 - 7:44am

There are ONLY two ways a Hummer is "economical""
1) When it's parked.
2) When it's going downhill with the engine off.

Take your pick.



Harl Delos
Wed, 06/18/2008 - 9:49am

In a way, it makes a certain amount of sense.

Suppose he drives himself, and the police department were to send someone to provide security. That'd mean two vehicles going to that meeting, instead of one, and it appears that most police departments get about 7 mpg from their Crown Victorias. Cops normally travel in pairs, so you'd be using two expensive cops instead of one cheap driver.

If you or I drove there, we'd have to park a half-mile away, but there's not likely going to be anyone lying in wait to attack us. If you govern a big city properly, you're going to make some people mad, and if you govern a big city improperly, you're going to make even more people mad.

Of course, since the city still owns that Ford Expedition, the less expensive thing would be to keep on using it. But this is sorta like dealing with contractors. If you tell them that you need something built in a hurry, they charge more. On the other hand, if you don't tell them you need it in a hurry, they charge more.

What a city should do is to provide the mayor an allowance, out of which he can provide his own transportation. If it costs less, he pockets the money, and if it costs more, he pays the money from his own pocket.