News release from the Paula Hughes for Mayor campaign:
Hughes to Sell Mayor’s Government Car
Vows to use her own transportation to get to work
Former Allen County Council President and leading Republican Fort Wayne mayoral candidate Paula Hughes, announced that she would sell the mayor’s city car and use her own transportation to get to work and conduct city business.
According to the April 3rd Journal Gazette, Mayor Tom Henry drives a taxpayer-funded 2008 Chevy Malibu. The car is provided for the four-mile commute to the office and any other official city business the mayor may need to conduct. Unlike past mayors, Mayor Henry does not pay for a portion of the vehicle costs.
“Fort Wayne families are struggling to make their own car payment but our mayor makes more than the governor and has taxpayers making his car payment, too,” Hughes said. “Enough is enough. Fort Wayne’s bloated budget and growing debt starts right at the top. That will stop in my administration.”
The broader issue of take-home cars has been an area of contention for many years, especially with the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA).
“It is hypocritical for the mayor to ask city employees to make sacrifices and share the pain when he doesn’t do it himself,” Hughes said. “I will be able to go to the bargaining table knowing that I have not only talked the talk but have also walked the walk. These gestures will go a long way to build goodwill with the city employees and have fair and respectful negotiations that can protect the best interest of taxpayers.”
Eliminating the mayor’s car is a distinct departure from past administrations.
“Business as usual in city government is over,” Hughes stated. “I will lead by example and do more with less. It starts with lowering my own pay and getting it in line with other Indiana communities. The next is proving that a mayor can get to work without a taxpayer-funded car. I will achieve both on my first day in office.”