Hey City Council – This One’s For You

Sometimes I think I would make a good politician. But then I remember three things.

1)     I lost my 6th grade class presidential election with the campaign “You’ll go NUTS for Paige as President” which involved pasting cashews to a poster board.

2)     The teacher advisor of my high school’s chapter of Amnesty International threatened to call my college admissions office and tell them how my co-president and I made a joke out of the program with intercom announcements that said, “Save Ferris.”

3)     An honest person doesn’t really have “skeletons” in her closet. But I would surely melt under the light of scrutiny from the public eye.

That said, I do believe I have some very good ideas for the new city council candidates.

Clearly the city budget is as messy as my sidewalk after a windy trash day. Everyone seems to just be throwing up their hands and making very questionable decisions. I don’t know anyone who knows who to vote for Tuesday (myself included). I would venture to say that most people don’t even know there is an election. A recent news report focused on “corruption fatigue.” People don’t think they can make any difference, so they don’t even bother to vote.

So for whoever does get elected – by favor or by default – here is my advice to you:

I spoke before about my belief that a crackdown on commercial recycling fines would bring in big bucks for the city. Let’s add to that an enforcement of fines for littering. After the city-wide clean-up day, the city was back to looking like a landfill in no time flat. Maybe if there was a team that really went after people for littering and dumping, we’d have some seriously cash flow. Tack on a team to go after all those telephone pole sign-posters and the people who put nightclub flyers on cars. I am positive that the money spent on enforcing these penalties would be made up in a matter of months. (I’d also like to tack community service on to these fines.)

Wondering where to get all these new city workers? Well, first we can check the unemployment lines. But if the city prefers not to employ anymore workers, perhaps borrow a few from the Philadelphia Parking Authority. I’d venture there’s about one PPA worker for every half dozen cars. I’m sure some of us feel like we’ve got our own personal PPA employee assigned to our vehicle. Now, I’m not saying we should abolish the PPA – we can’t have the whole city looking like Broad Street with cars parked straight down the middle. Let’s just cut the fat a bit, shall we?

So what will we possibly do with all this revenue generated from litterers, big corporate non-recyclers, and toxic dumpers? Well, we could better fund women’s welfare-to-work programs, open up those closed recreational centers and libraries, and LOWER THE BUSINESS PRIVILEGE TAX.

When all this is complete, we can just sit back and watch as clean streets attract tourism, lower taxes attract commerce, and people have the tools to get new jobs.

There. I’ve balanced the budget. New city council members, feel free to use my idea. I don’t need the credit. Use your salary to buy a yacht for all I care. Just give me one good reason why this wouldn’t work?

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