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Cities turn to fees for “accident response,” “street lighting”

April 11th, 2009 · No Comments

A friend passed on this story to me in the NY Times, about the desperate measures that cities are turning to for money as budgets get squeezed.

This reminds me of one of the most hilarious investigative stories I ever saw on television — an Arizona or New Mexico reporter in the late 80s (remember, back when the mass media was healthy) who did an expose on a small town in his state that decided it needed money for a community centre, so the town leaders hired a bunch of “police officers,” many of them dubious characters and some with felony records, and had them go out and “patrol” the nearby highway, merrily issuing as many tickets as they could. I can’t remember if they actually got the money for the centre, but their officers sure scared a lot of drivers.

I hope no one at the city is looking at this compendium of money-making measures. Oops, I’m told everyone at the city reads here to find out who’s been canned/resigned/had their budget frozen or office moved last. Well, perhaps you can start the petition early to ensure that council doesn’t move to billing people for police response to their accidents and break-ins.

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