I spent this past Father’s Day with my children and grandchildren. During the day I had an interesting discussion with my two year old grandson, Jacob. I realize that kids today are certainly more informed regarding politics and economics than we were but having knowledge of municipal budgets at the age of two was unheard of. Jacob told me that he had been reading about the Hamilton Police Services Budget, the controversy surrounding it and the possible shortfalls regarding that fiscal accounting. He suggested that the Hamilton Police could improvise to balance their budget.
If there was a need to increase the budget by 3 per cent or $4.5 million he had a sure-fire way to make up the total difference. Here is his recipe.
Find a thoroughfare in Hamilton that begins with five wide lanes, only goes one way with no competing traffic, sees about 5000 vehicles per day, has two exterior lanes flow into the 403 highways, making sure the wide three lane continuation does not proceed into a residential area, and has no safety concerns whatsoever. Take that thoroughfare and drop the posted speed limit from a 60 KM per hour to a 50 KM per hour zone. Now take that portion of the police force that is redundant and station them at a strategic private property position. If 5000 vehicles pass the radar gun daily and 200 of them at a blistering 65 Km per hour which would generate a $100.00 ticket ( on average) the police budget would get buoyed by at least $4.5 million per annum based on carrying out the above strategy a mere 20 days per month. What a payback! Just look at the ancillary benefits to the major insurance companies who have had to clip their wings by 15% on auto insurance premiums due to Provincial Government policies. The recipe is easy, fool proof, and educational while at the same time being mercenary, punitive, and desperate.
The above was an ingenious recipe from young Jacob so I obviously felt very guilty when I broke his heart by informing that the Hamilton Police Department was already enacting his idea. All he had to do was to drive with his Dad westbound into Westdale along King Street West , just past Dundurn Street and proceed over the McKittrick Bridge and he could see his brilliance at work. Unfortunately, the HPD budget brain trust had already beat him to the punch.
As a careful grandfather I did however warn Jacob to make sure that his Dad stuck to the 50 KM posted speed limit while they travelled westbound to view his “ Father’s Day Thesis”.
Written by: Warren Waxman