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Kansas City Mayor Declines Hybrid Car

By Laura Spencer

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser announced today he won't accept the free use of a Honda Civic hybrid car. A local Honda dealership had offered the car until the end of Funkhouser's term in office. Funkhouser stated last week it was legal under state and city ordinances and wouldn't cost taxpayers. But ethics professors and others said it creates a public perception problem when an elected official accepts free goods and services. Funkhouser says he's ready to move on.

Mayor Mark Funkhouser:
I got a lot more important things to do...than to go around explaining to people why I'm going around riding in whatever car I'm riding in. That's just not something I'm interested in doing.

The car will return to the dealership this week. Another car, the Lincoln Town Car, will also return to a dealership. The mayor's office announced today the city will pay nearly $5700 to cancel the remainder of the two-year lease of a Lincoln Town Car and about $1500 in monthly payments already made by the city. Former Mayor Kay Barnes leased the car before Funkhouser took office. Funkhouser says he'll continue to drive his 1997 Toyota Corolla and receive a $600 a month car allowance.

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