The Late, Sainted, San Francisco Examiner columnist Herb Caen called the city Baghdad by the Bay to honor its exotic mix of cultures and politics. I picked the name for my parking disaster award because the city seems to have lead the world in parking stories which might not be so great. The latest:
Scofflaws owe San Francisco $38M in unpaid parking tickets
The story speaks for itself — you can read all about it here. What is so interesting are the comments by local government. First the spokesperson for the agency that is supposed to collect the money:
“It is unrealistic to expect that the agency would collect on 100 percent of citations,” SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said.
“Knowing MTA, I know that they are very efficient when it comes to parking tickets,” Supervisor Scott Wiener said. “Sometimes too efficient, when it comes to some of my constituents. I think they’re doing a pretty good job, from what I can tell.”
Our government has lost all sight of reality. If a private firm with a turnover of over $70,000,000 a year had a receivables loss of 10%, there would be hell to pay. However with agency officials throwing around numbers like $38,000,000 and $360,000,000 and at the federal level 15 trillion, what’s a few million here or there. “They are doing a pretty good job.” Really.
I wonder what would happen if the supervisor had said: “$38,000,000, That’s not chump change. I want the director in here next week explaining why we can’t collect the money and why we shouldn’t have someone else running the place. If they lose $38,000,000 here, what else is going on down there. If we don’t get answers heads will roll.”
How’s that. I can write fiction, too.