Mayor candidate Leirion Gaylor Baird announced if she's elected she will accelerate plans to reduce emissions from the city's vehicle fleet.
“As mayor, one of my top priorities will be to ensure the city does our part to address climate change while being a good steward of taxpayer dollars,” Gaylor Baird said.
“We can mitigate the risks climate change poses to our economy, environment and quality of life, and now is the time to act,” she said in a news release.
Gaylor Baird said she would convert Lincoln’s police cruisers to Ford’s new hybrid model of the Police Interceptor utility vehicle.
Almost half of Lincoln’s small-vehicle fleet is police cruisers that, because of high usage, need to be replaced about every five years. As the city replaces police cruisers, it could purchase hybrid vehicles — saving dollars in fuel economy and realizing savings with increased resale value, Gaylor Baird said.
In addition, Gaylor Baird would work to improve the city's fleet management by increasing the number of pool vehicles, investing in vehicles using alternative and renewable fuels and creating additional electric-charging stations available to city staff and the general public.
The Lincoln Environmental Action Plan, which Gaylor Baird supported through the City Council in 2018, has a goal of reducing non-renewable fuel usage in the city fleet operations by 50 percent by 2030.
Gaylor Baird believes it will be possible to accelerate that timetable.
“Not only is this good for our environment, this is good for the city’s bottom line,” Gaylor Baird said. “This investment in hybrid and electric vehicles will pay for itself over time as we decrease our spending on fuel.”
As mayor, Gaylor Baird said she would work with city staff to roll out the plan over the next few years, monitoring performance of the more fuel-efficient vehicles, as well as the return on investment for Lincoln taxpayers.