Gary, Ind. Mayor Rudy Clay Buys a Hummer for the City, Despite $36 Million Deficit

From the Unclear on the Concept file:

Gary, Ind. Mayor Rudy Clay wanted to do his best to stimulate the American economy, so he used city funds to buy a car for the Mayor's office.

So he bought an H3 Hummer. For $30,000. While his city has a $36 million deficit.

To top it off, Mayor Clay asked for a cap on property taxes for his city, which means the city will get less money than they need.

But Mayor Clay is not completely stupid. He realized the mayor of a city should have a vehicle. And he told Indiana's Distressed Unit Appeals Board (DUAB) as much.

"What do you want me to do, walk around here?" he asked the board. "I've got to have a car."

But a 2009 Hummer H3? The gas mileage on these things is measured in furlongs and liters. How is that financially responsible?

ayor Clay did point out that he got a $5,000 discount on the car, or it would have cost a lot more. Well, $5,000 more. Hey, Mayor Clay, that's some mighty shrewd dealing. Instead of wasting $35,000 of the city's money, you only wasted $30,000.

To be fair, Mayor Clay is paying for his own gas.

And it could be worse. "We're saving taxpayers money by riding in a Hummer," he told the DUAB. "I could have bought a $50,000 Expedition."

No, you could have bought a $22,000 Taurus that gets 28 mpg.

I think instead Gary will end up with a new mayor. Then we can save the taxpayers all sorts of money.

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  1. Oh, Erik, Erik, Erik... See when you assume Gary will get a new mayor, you assume that Gary conducts its political business in accordance with things like... Oh, I don't know... the rule of law, maybe? Perhaps the boundaries of rationality? But this is Gary. Lake County. The kind of town where Rod Blagojevich could walk the streets, inhale deeply, and exclaim, "I'm home. I can just smell the dirty pool."

    (Incidentally, if walking the streets of Gary, which I wouldn't recommend in general, I definitely would not suggest inhaling deeply.)


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