Thank you for The Enterprise article dated May 7 reporting on our city budget challenges. As you know, our solution(s) to our budget deficit will derive both from maximizing city revenues and reducing city operating costs.
Regarding reducing city operating costs, it is my opinion that serious potential savings are available by better scrutinizing city purchases and leases of city vehicles. One specific example of wasteful spending of which I am aware is our city purchasing or leasing and maintaining multiple hybrid vehicles for city use. For the cost of one Prius ($30,000?), how many bicycles and or electric golf carts could be purchased for city employee use?
I am aware that the city of Davis maintains a small fleet of hybrid vehicles. That causes me real concern when, all the while, the city is claiming it is broke. If a Davis citizen were claiming poverty, would it not appear inconsistent if he or she drove a late-model hybrid, be it a Prius or the like?
I am aware that the city of Davis strives to be green and may be attempting to act as an example for its citizens. I say no thank you. We are and will be as green as possible without city coaxing.
Considering the purchase/lease cost and operating costs for hybrids, I am convinced that relying on golf carts if not conventional economy models by major manufacturers like Ford or Chrysler or Hyundai would provide very fair gas mileage while saving the city substantially.
Put another way, we all would like to drive a late-model hybrid. But under the circumstances, most citizens choose to live within their means and so we buy vehicles we can afford.
Why should the city act any differently? My suggestion is to dispose of expensive hybrid city vehicles and replace them carefully with bikes where appropriate, golf carts where appropriate and economy low-end makes and models. And what is wrong with hand-crank windows anyway?
Much revenue could be saved in this way.
Donald K. Wilson