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Mayor buys Village car without using bid process

Date Posted: 2007-10-09

The Iheya Village mayor says he didn’t do anything wrong, insisting he bought the Iheya Island village’s Toyota Crown car legitimately.
Residents disagree, charging the mayor with ripping off the taxpayers by circumventing the standard bidding process when Iheya Village disposes of community property. The mayor bought the eight-year-old vehicle from the Village after the lease with a local Toyota dealer expired, paying ¥130,000.
The car, used for official functions and travel by the mayor, cost more than ¥5 million when new. Faced with financial crunches, the Village decided not to get a new car, since expenses totaled ¥2 million per year. The car was maintained by Iheya Village and kept at Unten Port.
Once the Village Office decided to dispose of the car, the mayor says “I can buy it by myself and use it on my own.” The Village Assembly says the car could have brought ¥600,000~700,000 through a public bid process. An Assembly member says the mayor had a right to bid, “but it has to go on a bidding basis.”

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