And You Wonder Why I named it the “Baghdad by the Bay” Award
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.