Government Officials Heart SUVs

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
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government officials heart suvs

The Buffalo News reports that its elected officials seem curiously reluctant to downsize from government-sponsored SUVs. “Lackawanna Mayor Norman Polanski started driving a taxpayer-funded Ford Escape after he blew the engine in his personal Plymouth Voyager after driving through the old Bethlehem Steel site on city time [of course]. He said his new vehicle was chosen for him from a state bid list. Asked if he would consider getting a vehicle that got higher gas mileage, he said those vehicles tend to have higher sticker prices than the $17,000 the city paid for his SUV.” So what about Lancaster Supervisor Robert Giza’s $27k, city-financed Chevrolet Tahoe? “Giza did not return phone calls for this column, but he earlier said his previous vehicle — also an SUV — had taken a beating during the October snowstorm two years ago and that he frequently drives in off-road conditions, such as quarries or railroad beds.” Hamburg Supervisor Steven Walters’ $18,000 Ford Explorer? “His last car was a Ford Crown Victoria, known for its massive engine and commonly used by police departments and that his new SUV is actually getting better gas mileage. Second, he noted that he lives in the Snow Belt, where four-wheel drive is almost considered a necessity. (He said his former vehicle got stuck in his driveway three times.) ‘In this job, you do have to get out when the roads are not plowed,’ he said. ‘It’s not extremely frequent, and I certainly don’t want to mislead anyone to think that this is happening every other day, but it does happen.'”

Robert Farago
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4 of 23 comments
  • Geotpf Geotpf on Sep 16, 2008

    powerglide-Taxpayer-financed sports stadiums are certainly a much bigger waste of taxpayer dollars than government officials driving Explorers instead of Aveos.

  • Briandfromo.p. Briandfromo.p. on Sep 16, 2008

    It does snow more in Buffalo, but the roads are plowed religiously (lots of road salt too). In states such as Colorado, they rely on the sunlight to help melt snow on roads; the sun in Buffalo does not appear much in winter.

  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Sep 17, 2008
    I Declare Bullshit! I was born in Buffalo, raised in Lancaster, and go to school in Fredonia,(which is an hour south of buffalo), all of which get completely buried come wintertime. I drive a Sentra SE-R with summer tires on it and have yet to get stuck, or slide off the road. I declare Bullshit! on your bullshit. I had an Eagle Talon and Subaru Impreza, both on summer tires. When the snow hit, those tires made my cars undriveable, even with a couple of inches on the ground. The anti-lock brakes became useless (which happens when there's zero traction), and both cars would fishtail around turns like I was driving in a Swedish rally. There is no way you'd have any traction on summer tires when the snow hit. You'd either spin your front wheels as the day is long or reciting a few Hail Mary prayers the moment you touched the brakes. You can get around in a Sentra, just not on snow tires in the winter.
  • Stingray Stingray on Sep 17, 2008

    I don't see the problem with this. ANY I quote from above: DUH! And will also use some I've learned here and there: Meh, yawn. Don't understand the anti-SUV thing when in another analysis is being propped *coughexplorercough*