The D.C. Councilpassed its $5.4 billion budget Tuesday. Hooray! And it didn't even adopt some of Mayor Fenty's most unpopular revenue-collecting initiatives -- $51-a-year per residential electric bill for streetlight maintenance, and a hike in the 911 tax -- but did expand funding for pre-k, healthcare and job training.
And with Schools Chancellor Michelle Rheemaking threats over $27.5 million that the Council voted to withhold from DCPS -- at least until it stops lying about projected enrollment figures -- she'll probably get it in the end, even though she clearly loves firing teachers.
So how is this broke city going to make any money? Here's a clue: Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) shot down another Fenty proposal Tuesday that would have eliminated 65 "parking control" positions.
Can't cut those jobs, because the city needs to issue INSANE AMOUNTS OF PARKING TICKETS now to avoid government debt default, and a violent coup d'etat.
Still, most of this work will be performed by parasitic robots.
The city will equip 12 street sweepers with cameras to photograph the license plates of vehicles that are not moved for routine street cleanings, and violators will be mailed $40 tickets. According to budget documents, the city estimates the "sweeper cams" will generate about 237,500 tickets and about $7.1 million in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.
Fine. Revenue is good. But c'mon, Jim Graham, don't tell us that this is about the streets being clean, OK?
Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), the chairman of the Public Works and Transportation Committee, said he pushed for the cameras, but he acknowledged a "collision between two public interests."
"People don't wants tickets, but people also demand clean streets," Graham said.
But the city demands that the streets be filthy, meaning cars should never move on street sweeper day, so the robot can give more tickets, which pay for everything.