Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mayor Said "Son You're Gonna Drive Me To Drinkin' if You Don't Start Drivin' that Hot. Rod. Lincoln."

Buying a car is personal. In our car-centered culture, what you drive is a statement to the world about who you are. My lovely wife just got a new car (Beetle Convertible), and I would never have dreamed of picking the color, the options, or anything other than the radio presets. And I've been married to her for 25 years this June, and the car is officially half mine. Even though it's "our car", we both know it's "her car", and she ought to be able to pick out her own car.

But Kay Barnes (who I doubt has even made out with Funkhouser, much less been married to him) decided she should make the choice of what kind of car Mark Funkhouser will have as mayor. And she screwed it up royally. Faced with the prospect of riding in the "silver birch" Lincoln Town Car she picked out for him and paid $700/month for ($100 over the car allowance - but money's no object for Country Club Kay), he said "no thanks" and has opted to keep on driving his 10 year-old Corolla.

Things might have gone differently if she had chosen a cooler car. Maybe a Crossfire like Glazer drives. Or maybe she could have used her big business contacts to hook him up with one of those new Camaros GM has planned. Sweet. A Mustang Convertible would have been a fine sled for the Funk, especially if she tricked it out with a fine sound system and thumping bass. Personally, I would have picked out a mini-van with tinted windows for the Mayor, driven it down to the Crossroads, and told the artists down there to make that vehicle into a statement. Yeah, that's how I'd make Mark roll.

But a freaking Lincoln Town Car?! Silver Birch? Did she really think a guy who answers to "Funk" would want to ride around in a geriatric jalopy like that?

Personally, I think it was pay-back. Kay hated Mark throughout the election, and did her best to get him defeated. Despite (or maybe because of?) her slander and frothing attacks, though, he won. So, the day after the election, she tried to score some revenge by sticking his lanky ass into the lamest car she could possibly find in the metro area. I'll bet she even made them put curb feelers on it, and special-ordered a mono sound system that only gets AM radio.

Hurrah for Funk's telling her to take her car and shove it. He'll face enough challenges as Mayor without having to ride around in a car picked out by someone who hates him.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope the Funk can set aside his ego and instead do what is best for the city, like he promised.

4/25/2007 6:59 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

What ego? He's definitely doing the best thing for the city by not blowing $700 a month on an ugly car - plus he's not hiring a posse of unnecessary police protection.

4/25/2007 10:20 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Funkhouser drives a Corolla? Does he drive from the back seat, like he is his own chauffer?

4/25/2007 12:14 PM  
Blogger Ray Barker said...

Anon-How is this evidence of his "ego"? I don't get it.

And I wouldn't worry about his "doing what's best for the city." I think he'll do fine.

4/25/2007 12:40 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

Maybe I'm wrong, not ever personally seeing Funk, but he looks to be one really tall man to me. Perhaps the lady was trying to accomodate his

Whatever, I bet the reason he turned the car down was simply because he's frugal and doesn't want to spend the city money that way. I have to admire him.

4/25/2007 12:59 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

"Silver Birtch"

describes both the current car and current passenger.

4/25/2007 1:50 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Dan - to my knowledge Funk is keeping the car allowance, just driving his old car.

So financially the city is actually worse off when you look at the decision. We're stuck with a town car unfortunately, and the funk is keeping his car allownace.

Obvioulsy it would have been better not to buy a new car in the first place. Also note that emmissions from a 10 year old corolla are probably just as bad as those of a new town car. However, the production of a new car sends more carbon emmissions into the air than the actual car does during it's drivable lifetime. It would have been better for Funk to buy a used hybrid, electric or other low carbon emission vehicle if the guy wants to send a message, on frugality as well as on the environment.

4/25/2007 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ego that somehow reached the conclusion that standing in lines and searching for parking spaces is the best use of his $140,000 salary the taxpayers are paying him.

Per the article..."he welcomes the opportunity of parking his own car and waiting in line"

Kool-aid anyone?

4/25/2007 7:16 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

Anon - So he doesn't want to come across as a pompous ass in a chauffer driven car car with special priveledges.

Which part of that do you have a problem with?

On my way into work this morning, there was a "minimally marked" Crown Victoria to my left with a little old lady sitting in the back seat. It caught my attention and I wondered what on earth such a frail old grandma could be doing riding in a police car.

It was Kay Barnes being chauffered into work by someone who should have been hunting down criminals in a car designed for high-speed pursuits.

What a waste of resources.

You GO Funk!

4/25/2007 7:28 PM  
Blogger KC Sponge said...

Maybe he's not worried about finding parking spaces because he's ready to bring this town into the 21st century and build us a transit system that works. Maybe . . . please, Funkmeister . . . you can do it.

4/25/2007 9:46 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Hey guys, I voted for Funk, but there is a very rational case to be made for being driven, a larger car and security.

It's very rational to expect the Funk could re-orient and transform our city government for regular folks, while he's being driven around (and conducting business with the significant time saved)in a car that's a bit larger than his current Corolla.

The fate of our city government isn't impacted, in any sense or context, by this issue.

4/26/2007 8:25 AM  
Blogger Well Hell Michelle said...

I love how the article said that Kay Barnes hasn't been attacked, but "the Police Department has compiled a thick file of death threats on her" :)

4/26/2007 2:51 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

The only possible security threat that I can imagine to a mayor of Kansas City is that nutjob in the northland that thinks he needs to post all of those hand painted signs declaring how "KANSAS CITY IS A SCAMMER AND STEALS LAND" or whatever the fuck they say.


4/26/2007 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that Funkhouser won't take the car tells me that he has no clue about what's about to hit him on May 1. The mayor's job is monumental and he will need every minute of the day to do a good job. It's not a 9 to 5 gig, unless he defers all the hard work to Gloria and Ed.
I voted for the man twice and as Roberto de Vicenzo said "what a stupid I am."

4/28/2007 9:48 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anonymous above -

Thank you for the funniest comment of the month - it made me laugh out loud.

If the car thing was all it took to make you lose faith in Mark, who was elected specifically to end business as usual in City Hall, you aren't made of tough enough stuff for the real world.

4/29/2007 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just the car. The car is old news, as far as I'm concerned. It's the special treatment he requested for Ed. It's the fact that he thinks he has a mandate even though he only won by 850 votes. It's the whole inauguration issue, not wanting to use the ballroom. It's the paranoia. It's the salaries he's paying his people.
Having said that, I think Kay and the Council did do a few things to make his first few weeks difficult.
I'm hoping for the best but I'm a little disappointed so far.

4/29/2007 8:08 PM  
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