Mayor Defends City Buying Himself a Gas Guzzling Hummer

Geoff Williams, Wallet Pop, January 9, 2009

Some politicians seem to have such a dense understanding of what’s going on around them, it’s a wonder they were elected. Exhibit A: the mayor of Gary, Indiana, who is driving a government-purchased, gas-guzzling Hummer, despite the fact that his city is operating with a $36 million deficit.

Gary, Ind., Mayor Rudy Clay bought a Hummer with government funds while his city is experiencing a $36 million deficit.

A Mayor’s Choice

Recently, Rudy Clay asked for a cap on property taxes for his city, but when Ryan Kitchell, chairman of the state panel that decides these sorts of things, learned about the purchase, he was a wee bit upset. {snip}

If the economy wasn’t in such dire shape, it would almost be funny how tone deaf some politicians can be about the economy.

{snip}

Clay defended himself mightily when he spoke in front of the state’s Distressed Unit Appeals Board: “What do you want me to do, walk around here? I’ve got to have a car.”

Sure, but a 2009 Hummer H3 for $29,970? Clay proudly noted that he received a $5,000 discount. Otherwise it would have cost more. And until he was criticized for the purchase, the cash-strapped berg of Gary, Indiana was picking up the gas tab. Now, apparently, the mayor is paying for his gas.

And in Clay’s mind, he is a cost-conscious mayor. After all, as he told the state board: “We’re saving taxpayers money by riding in a Hummer. I could’ve bought a $50,000 Expedition.”

{snip}

clay

Mayor Rudy Clay of Gary, Indiana.

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