Cash Money Wednesdays, Broke-Ass Muni Edition: In Which SFPD Tells Us How It Spent $19 million on FastPasses
Know what’s nice about being broke? Very little, but at least people learn very quickly to stop asking you for money. Unless you’re Muni, of course — Muni is very broke, very publicly broke, nearly $130 million broke, and city departments keep asking Muni for money.
You see, the Police Department, the Department of Public Health — all of these charge Muni for services, like the city law-mandated twice-per-shift bus rides cops are supposed to take. These charges, called work orders, totaled $80 million this past year, with the police department asking for $19 million for the pleasure of their presence on the 19-Polk.
(By the by, were you aware that there’s a law firm that specializes, or at least advertises to, in suing Muni? And that they have a Web site, cleverly-titled www.muniaccidentlawyers.com? We guess that apparent gravy train doesn’t help, either).
We’ll be honest, though — we have never seen a police officer on a bus, train or cable car, and we’re not alone: Supervisor Bevan Dufty’s looked around and asked around, and he can’t find any cops on the bus, either. Today, at the bequest of Bevan, the SFPD and everyone else shaking down poor old Muni for a million here, a million there will take the podium and explain: just how and why the SFPD’s work orders alone jumped from $12 to $19 million, with the cost of the entire Traffic Division charged to Muni’s bill.
We just stopped feeling bad about backdoor-boarding the 30-Stockton. We already win.
Those fireworks go off at 1:30 p.m., but there’s a morning chock-full of money matters to tide a budget-savvy City Hall gadfly over to the afternoon delight. Those in the know know that the real down and dirty gets done in Wednesday budget hearings — like deciding if the eateries nice enough to participate in EarthHour should get $250 to cover their candle permits, and deciding if May is a good time to declare amnesty on… overdue library book fines. Oh, baby, unplug the phone — we’re finishing Infinite Jest after all, and the City and County’s picking up the tab!