Mayor Wharton Responds To Expensive New City Car

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(Memphis) Mayor A C Wharton responds to complaints about his new fancy ride. The mayor has gotten some criticism about the lease on his new Cadillac. The car replaces the 2010 similar model car that the city was already leasing.

Wharton said, “This is always open for review and I don't get angry about it.”

Mayor A C Wharton is handling the criticism in stride about the cost of the lease for his new 2013 Cadillac. The city is leasing the car at a cost of more than $1,200 a month. That’s more than $14,500 a year.

“I don't second guess General Services on it. They came back and said mayor here’s the best business decision and that's it,” said Wharton.

Some council members question the expensive lease deal during lean budget times. The mayor responds by saying this lease gives the city an extra 20,000 miles a year.

“I put a lot of miles on these cars and end up having to pay what they call a premium rate on it but the business folks tell me this is the best deal and I accept their judgment on that,” said Wharton.

The issue of the mayor’s smooth ride raises questions about the other 403 city employees being allowed to take home cars. The mayor promises to take a look at that, also.

“We're going to look at every vehicle and see if there's a legitimate reason. Are they on duty 24/7 and we'll be looking at that,” said Wharton.

Wharton’s administration says most of those take-home cars are assigned to police and fire services, the other 13 are driven by city hall division directors.