Memo from the mayorWritten by Jim Harpen | | email@example.com
You gotta hand it to Carty. He’s coming up with some pretty inventive ways to close the city’s gaping budget hole. His ingenuity has once again brought international attention to our fine city. I came up with some of my own ideas, and I’ll present them here in “Memo from the Mayor” form so hizzoner can simply copy and paste them into an e-mail to his top administrators.
To: All city commissioners and department heads
From: He who must be obeyed
As you know, I have received no cooperation from city council in dealing with our budget deficit. That panel of grandstanding malcontents has rejected my revenue enhancement proposals at every turn. Therefore, it is incumbent on you, the best paid people on my payroll, to do your part.
Here are the assignments I want you to personally perform:
Commissioner of Streets, Bridges & Harbor: Get out from behind your desk and start ticketing people who’ve parked their cars on gravel. Any gravel. If they’re parked in the street and one of the tires is on the lip of a pothole with exposed stones, slam ’em with a fine. And since you’re also in charge of the harbor, ticket the Audubon Society. Those damned seagulls are crapping all over the place. If they can’t control their birds, we will. And we’ll make some money to boot.
Commissioner of Solid Waste: I want you to … uhh … let me think about this.
Chief of Police: Catching criminals doesn’t earn us one thin dime. Until further notice, your life is all about speeding tickets. I want you to turn Toledo into one big speed trap. And I want you to tail those clowns over at WSPD. If they go so much as a tenth of a mile over the limit, I want to see a SWAT team descend on them like flies at the landfill. Think of this part of your assignment as getting two for one.
Commissioner of Inspection: Have you seen how many signs there are in Toledo with burned out or flashing fluorescent bulbs? Can you imagine how that bothers the visually impaired? As you know, I have a great deal of empathy for the disabled (See “Mayor suggests moving deaf near airport”).
Get on it. Now.
Commissioner of Solid Waste: I was thinking … but no … your people are Teamsters.
Commissioner of Health: Start policing public restrooms. Anyone who tries to exit without washing their hands, $100 right there, right now. And put your thinking cap on about enforcing flossing. Around every tooth. We’ll provide a four-tooth waiver for those who’ve had their wisdom teeth pulled.
Commissioner of Parks & Forestry: The squirrels have been on the gravy train far too long. It stops here. Same goes for the raccoons. I’m talking an acorn tax. We pay to maintain all of those oak trees, and it’s time we got something in return. And all of those sandlot sluggers wiling away the hours this summer playing ball at one of the city parks’ diamonds? Home plate tax with a grand slam surcharge. No exceptions. Their parents send ’em to school with milk money, so they should view this as a continuation of their daily investment in their child’s development.
Commissioner of Solid Waste: You’re fine. Keep doing what you’re doing.
Chief of the Fire Division: With all of the firefighters we’ve got in Toledo, why do we still have fires? I want you personally going door to door conducting fire safety inspections. You see a faux ficus near an electrical outlet, that’s $25. Toaster with bread crumbs at the bottom? A hundred bucks. If we’re going to provide fire protection, they’re gonna pay for it. Twice.
Commissioner of Solid Waste: Your Teamsters are doing such a fabulous job, I’m going to spend
$12 million we don’t have and buy your guys some new garbage trucks. Air-conditioned? Of course!
I know that ordering you to personally carry out these orders might seem onerous. But as you know, my ideas are both inspired and unequaled. Why else would they be the buzz of the international news media?
And remember: I’m in charge here; you’re not.
E-mail columnist Jim Harpen at firstname.lastname@example.org.