City Council members switching up taxpayer-funded vehicles

It takes a lot of cars and trucks to run a town like Baltimore, and the city government boasts a fleet consisting of more than 3,600 vehicles, many sporting the familiar black-and-yellow municipal seal.

A spreadsheet containing the data is available here.

In response to a public information request, the city gave The Baltimore Sun a spreadsheet with details about all of them (minus undercover or unmarked police cars to avoid interfering with criminal investigations).

If you’ve ever wondered which agency has the most — and who hasn’t? — it’s the Department of Public Works (1,001), followed by Police (834), Transportation (473) and Fire (295). The Mayor’s Office has seven, according to the list.

Among manufacturers, Chevy beats Ford by 1,534 to 928. Further down the list, Honda andHarley-Davidsontie with 21. The most common car model? The Impala, thanks to the police. Next come the Cobalt and Cavalier, both by Chevy. Batting cleanup are 130-plus trash trucks, known as loadpackers.

There are also 26 street sweepers, more than a dozen bucket trucks — and one GMC bookmobile.

Though the fleet list was provided by the city just this month, the office of City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young says it’s a bit out of date, at least for City Council vehicles.

The spreadsheet shows five. But Young’s spokesman, Lester Davis, said the only one currently associated with the council is Young’s leased Chevy Tahoe. Other leased cars were recently returned, and several members are driving different cars until their 2013 taxpayer-financed wheels arrive. (Members pay for the vehicles out of their council office budget.)

Councilman Warren Branch, for example, traded a Nissan Altima for a Ford Explorer, according to Davis. Council Vice President Edward Reisinger switched from an Altima to a Ford Taurus.

Councilman Robert Curran is also driving a Taurus these days. He used to drive a Pontiac G6, until it was totaled, Davis said. He switched to the Altima once driven by former Councilman Nick D'Adamo.

Finally, council newcomer Brandon Scott has use of a Chevy Equinox for the next two years.

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