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Published: Wednesday, 3/13/2013

City finance director, law director say ordinance for mayor's office to buy SUVs was poorly written

BLADE STAFF

Several Toledo councilmen blasted Mayor Mike Bell again today with accusations that they were misled into authorizing the purchase of two sport utility vehicles.

During a Toledo City Council agenda review meeting, City Finance Director Patrick McLean and City Law Director Adam Loukx stopped short of admitting blame. But both admitted an ordinance last year that paved the way for the mayor's office to buy a 2013 Chevy Tahoe and a 2010 ordinance that allowed the city to buy a 2011 GMC Terrain were poorly written.

Mr. McLean - during a barrage of questions from Councilman D. Michael Collins - admitted that the two vehicles, along with others over the past 10 years, should have been purchased with money from the city's general fund rather than its so-called vehicle replacement fund.

He said the city over the past decade has not properly replaced money from the vehicle replacement fund and now the Bell administration is asking council to transfer $437,646 from the city’s general fund for those purchases.

The two SUVs, which have some luxury options and added amenities like leather seats and strobe lights, cost taxpayers a combined $69,000.

Mr. Collins repeatedly asked Mr. McLean if the vehicles were purchases appropriately. Mr. McLean said the authorizing ordinances could have been clearer and should have identified the proper funds.



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