Fellas, and by fellas I mean you ladies too, what the hell are you doing?
A while back our mutual friend, Michael Nutter, announced that the city was facing a major budget deficit. He came to you, asking you to pass legislation that would increase in our city’s sales tax to make up the difference.
Now, you know math hurts my head. And you also know I have had my problems with Mayor Nutter -- who can forget my drunken outburst at my Mummer’s Party last year when he showed up and I threw a bottle of Prosecco at his head, accusing him of ruining my life. But here’s the thing, he’s right. We need $700 million. And if we don’t get it, he’s not bluffing. He will shut down libraries and recreation centers and parks and layoff cops and firefighters and other city workers.
I understand there is some hold-up because of pension rules and who should control the funds and how the funds are dispersed and cops and firefighters are pissed off and you say you can’t get a compromise passed in time for Mayor Nutter’s September 18 deadline for implementing Plan C.
That doesn’t sound like the can do spirit on which this country was built.
See, back when I was still working, we would sometimes have a big, daunting project that needed to get completed in what seemed like an impossible deadline. We called these “fire drills.” We would move all the necessary materials we needed into a conference room, gather the necessary employees there as well, order dinner, lock the doors and only let people out to pee and smoke (that part is important, you have to let smokers have their cigarettes).
Sure, after several hours in that room together things would get ugly. Particularly when makeup started melting and deodorant started to wear off. There was also almost always an instance when some idiot would say or do something stupid and one of us would have to be restrained less we kill him or her. But in the end, the job would get done. And here is the important part -- the client would be happy because they got a finished product. The attorney would be happy because attorneys love happy clients, not to mention they love wielding their power to make us all change our plans at a moments notice. We were all happy because we were hourly employees and were expecting a big fat paycheck that we were going to use to buy another expensive pocketbook. And the idiot was happy because he/she was still alive and really, idiots are always happy. They are too stupid not to be.
Do you see where I am going with this? If you don’t pass this budget (or at least these two provisions) Philadelphia will be forced to close all of our libraries. We all know, libraries make people smart and so without them, our city will be overrun with idiots. Simple, smiling idiots. Oh, and we will have fewer cops and firefighters on the streets to deal with the idiots, which is never good.
So, now go, stop reading my blog, find a big room, get the necessary players together, order some Chinese and extra strong coffee, and don’t come out until everyone is happy.
PS -- If you won’t listen to me, maybe you will listen to my local readers who I am urging to write to you with their concerns. Of course, if you are too busy passing this budget to respond, that is okay. Just remember what month comes after October and what happens that first Tuesday (that follows the first Monday) of that month.