Democratic candidate for Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird says, if elected,  she will accelerate plans to reduce emissions from the city vehicle fleet.

“As mayor, one of my top priorities will be to ensure the city does its part to address climate change while being a good steward of taxpayer dollars,” said Gaylor Baird. “We can mitigate the risks climate change poses to our economy, environment, and quality of life, and now is the time to act.”

The Lincoln Environmental Action Plan (LEAP), which Gaylor Baird played a leading role in passing through the City Council in 2018, set a goal of reducing non-renewable fuel use by city vehicles by 50% by 2030. Gaylor Baird says accelerating that timetable is achievable.

One of her suggestions is to convert Lincoln’s police cruisers to Ford’s new hybrid model of the Police Interceptor utility vehicle currently in use by LPD. Police Cruisers make up almost half of Lincoln’s small vehicle fleet, she says, and they need to be replaced approximately every five years. As the city replaces police cruisers, she says, it could purchase hybrid vehicles.

In addition, Gaylor Baird says she would work to improve overall fleet management by increasing the number of pool vehicles, investing in vehicles besides Police cars that use alternative and renewable fuels, and installing additional electric charging stations that would be available to city staff and the general public.

“Not only is this good for our environment, this is good for the city’s bottom line,” said Gaylor Baird. “This investment in hybrid and electric vehicles will pay for itself over time as we decrease our spending on fuel.”

Gaylor Baird says city staff would monitor the performance of the vehicles as well as the return on investment.

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