City Beat

New Sacramento mayor ditches Kevin Johnson’s fancy SUV for a Ford sedan

Take a look at Sacramento Mayor Steinberg's low-key ride

New Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg has opted to ride around in a used Ford Fusion that was already in the city fleet rather than using just-departed Mayor Kevin Johnson's fancy Chevy Tahoe as his official vehicle.
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New Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg has opted to ride around in a used Ford Fusion that was already in the city fleet rather than using just-departed Mayor Kevin Johnson's fancy Chevy Tahoe as his official vehicle.

Sacramento’s new mayor has a used car.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg will be chauffeured in a 2016 Ford Fusion hybrid that was already in use in the city’s fleet. The car had 18,063 miles on it as of Wednesday morning.

Like his predecessor, Kevin Johnson, Steinberg will be driven around town by a reserve Sacramento police officer. But unlike Johnson, Steinberg requested a car that was already being used by the city. He rode in the front seat on Wednesday, his first official day as mayor. Johnson always rode in the back.

The city spent $50,706 on a new Chevy Tahoe hybrid sport-utility vehicle in 2010 for Johnson, at the request of the mayor’s office, plus an additional $6,000 on police equipment for the vehicle. The SUV was outfitted with a satellite dish, making it a recognizable figure around the city.

Steinberg’s vehicle was purchased in April 2015 for $29,969, according to city spokeswoman Marycon Razo. She said it had been used by the Fleet Management department.

“The mayor will retain the same security detail as Mayors (Heather) Fargo and Johnson before him,” mayoral spokeswoman Kelly Fong Rivas said. “He requested use of an existing hybrid fleet vehicle and is pleased the city was able to rotate a used Ford Fusion hybrid in for the SUV, which will be returned back to the city fleet.”

Being chauffeured around – even in a Ford Fusion – is a change for Steinberg.

When he was president of the state Senate – considered the second-most powerful position in California politics – Steinberg drove himself to work at the Capitol in a Honda Accord. He did the same as he ran for mayor earlier this year.

KJSUV
Former Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson enters his city SUV after voting with his wife Michelle Rhee at First Christian Church on election day in 2012. Renee C. Byer rbyer@sacbee.com

Six months after winning a decisive victory in the June primary, Darrell Steinberg was sworn in as mayor on Tuesday night.

Ryan Lillis: 916-321-1085, @Ryan_Lillis

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