Cash for Clunkers
By Jim Arnold
It appears that, Delaware County has instituted a “Cash for Clunkers” program of its own. Per a recent Larry Riley Article, the county highway department purchased (paid off the bank loan of $12,300) for a ten year old Ford 1 ton pick-up truck from the son of the county highway garage superintendent.
My first thought was that $12,300 was too much to pay for a ten year old pickup truck with more than 120,000 miles on it, so I navigated to Edmunds.com to check out their true market value for a similar truck. I didn’t know all of the details about the truck so I selected every available option plus the “outstanding condition” box and learned that according to Edmunds, the true market value of a similar truck in pristine condition loaded to the hilt is $8,715.00.
I was discussing my price evaluation exercise with a friend who replied that this type of purchase from an employee or family member should simply not be permitted. Then it dawned on me that I had been wasting my time “guestimating” the value of the truck. The pertinent issue is not if the county highway department reaped a bonanza or was over charged when they purchased a truck from the son of the county highway garage superintendent. The pertinent issue is that county policy should strictly prohibit this type of behavior.
Good deal or bad, this transaction was tainted by the hint of impropriety, and so goes business as usual in Delaware County.