Here is an interesting Email from “JL” on the bloated employee salary system in California and meter revenue in San Francisco.

“JL” writes …

The ever incompetent San Francisco hired more metermaids and made more metered areas to bust commuters, visitors and taxpayers. What happened? Everyone got wise and there’s a DECREASE in citations despite more metermaids running around looking for a 4-wheeled ATM machine.

Moreover, the police and CHP have been running around busting taxpayers for minor infractions for obvious revenue enhancement needs. The freeways have CHP officers hiding in the bushes-sometimes a fleet of 5 squad cars-to catch 5 cars in a row. There’s a sudden interest in carpool infractions with a whopping 280 dollar fine.

The governor, looking to save the budget, wants to add speed sensors to red lights for obvious revenue enhancement needs.

Sadly, commuters going to work-the few and proud remaining people who work and generate “GDP”-are getting taxed to death with laws and infraction dogma. It’s all an obvious hat tip to Orwell that those who work have to take care of the bloated state employee salary system. The middleclass, like a gerbil in the engine of the economy, is getting killed to support the lower classes, the unemployed, the overleveraged, the banker classes and,of course, the government class.

Parking citations on the decline

Inquiring minds are reading Parking citations on the decline

Since The City flooded the streets with additional parking control officers in the last two years, the number of parking citations has been on the decline, prompting city officials to take some of the ticket cops off the streets.

In fiscal year 2007-08, the number of parking control officers in San Francisco increased from 261 to 282 — an 8 percent jump. But that hiring surge did not stem an ongoing slide in annual parking citations — which peaked at 1.9 million in the 2005 fiscal year — and is projected to drop to 1.6 million this fiscal year, according to the Municipal Transportation Agency, which oversees parking policies and enforcement.

The MTA has attributed the 16 percent drop in citations to cash-strapped drivers becoming more wary of parking regulations, a decrease in street-sweeping operations and fewer motorists out on the road because of the weakened economy.

The MTA faces a midyear projected deficit of $49.1 million — $4 million more than first reported in November. The agency has proposed laying off 108 workers and eliminating 142 positions — saving $12.5 million in salaries and benefits — as a way to cut into that shortfall.

While all 108 layoffs have been met with resistance, the decision to let go of the 24 parking control officers has attracted the most indignation, since those employees generate revenue for The City.

However, the MTA believes there won’t be a revenue drop, so long as the remaining 254 parking control officers step up their production. If each one of those officers gives out 540 monthly citations — nine less than the 2007-08 fiscal year monthly average of 549 — the agency won’t lose parking-ticket money.

SEIU Local 1021, the union representing the officers, has yet to make a full review of the MTA’s traffic citation data, but officials from the organization have said most of the information is based on projections and does not accurately reflect the ticketing potential of the laid-off employees.

Number of Union Meter Maids Needed is Zero

If San Francisco had any brains, but it doesn’t, it would fire the remaining 254 meter maids as well. Unions add nothing but expense, nothing. And it should not take a genius to figure that out.

The city can easily privatize the whole shebang, tell SEIU Local 1021 to stuff it, and save a lot of money in the process. Here is a tribute to meter maids.

Lovely Rita, Meter Maid

In a tribute to the MTA here is a nice video by the Kingston Trio.

Kingston Trio – M. T. A.

Of the two songs, I highly prefer Charley on the MTA.

For the story behind that song as well as a description of the mess the Boston MTA is in, please see Union Battles In Las Vegas, Simi California, Hawaii, Massachusetts

Schwarzenegger Proposes “Red Light” Revenue Sharing

Please consider Speed sensors on red-light cameras could raise money fast.

Tucked deep into the budget that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled Friday is a plan to give cities and counties the green light to install speed sensors on red-light cameras to catch — and ticket — speeding cars.

Those whizzing by the radar-equipped detectors at up to 15 mph over the limit would have to pay $225 per violation. Those going faster would be fined $325.

Small-government advocates want to put the brakes on the plan.

“This is a budget item for the state?” said Lew Uhler, president of the National Tax Limitation Committee. “This is totally reprehensible.”

The correct approach of course is to fix the problem of overpaid police and fire workers, eliminate defined benefit pension plans, and privatize the prison guards.

Why is it so hard to do the only thing that makes any sense? Because powerful unions own California politicians at the state and local levels. Until voters demand change, nothing good will happen.


“Steve” just chimed in with a comment I want to share …

The obvious next step is to simply mount government owned speed and movement sensors right in the car. A dashboard mounted printer can spit out infraction notices as required.

Once a Police State is out of control there is no limit to how far out of control it will go. We the people, formerly called Citizens but now known only as Consumers, have been swindled into surrendering our Sovereign power to a cabal of corporate thugs. They will do anything required to hold onto power.

Let me ask you this. Twenty years ago would you have believed that the US government would ever take ownership of GM, or that they would give 100 billion dollars to an insurance company, or that they would purchase 90% of all new mortgages or that they would run a 2 Trillion Dollar deficit while funneling hundreds of billions to Wall Street?

All of this would have seemed inconceivable to me. Except for the vestiges of civil rights we still possess we are literally turning into the old USSR where our entire economy is run by central government command.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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