Government Fleet Top News

Jonesboro Officials Debate Over Mayor's Purchase of New Car

July 11, 2007

JONESBORO, GA – City of Jonesboro Mayor Joy Day and some city council members are at odds over whether the mayor’s recent purchase of a car was outside the city’s budgeting procedures, according to the Clayton News Daily newspaper. On June 20, the mayor bought a white Ford Expedition SUV for $21,506, using money from the city’s contingency fund.

A Ford Explorer, which was used by the city prior to the purchase, was transferred to the Jonesboro Police Department. The police department paid the city $4,000 for that vehicle, according to a statement released on behalf of the mayor by Jonesboro city clerk, Janice Truhan. However, the mayor’s purchase was made without the voting consent of the council, according to councilmembers, Roger Grider, Rick Yonce, Bobby Wiggins, and Clarence Mann.

According to the city’s Web site, a section of city code says that the mayor may “bind the city by contract for any purchase or contract of equipment, supplies, and contractual services for the city, including capital expenditures, in an amount up to $1,000 provided the item or service has been budgeted, or in case of emergency.”

But Mayor Day said council members are “making a mountain out of a molehill. We have a detective at the police department that needed a car to drive,” she said. “All of our officers have take-home cars. That’s really why I ran it in front of the council. It was an administrative task that had to be done. I went away from that meeting thinking that they were fine with it. They all sat there and agreed with it, in front of the city clerk and the city attorney, and thought it was a great idea ... The [new] car doesn’t belong to me, it’s parked at city hall ... We need to be focusing on something that will help the city, not tearing each other apart,” as quoted in the Clayton News Daily newspaper.

The mayor also said that she took the proper protocol for making a city purchase by obtaining three bids from dealerships and buying from the lowest bidder.

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