(Could-Be-Anywhere, USA) - Officials with the city of Ventura, CA have found some remarkably creative ways to make money even in these desperate economic times.
Christie Weird, Mayor of Ventura, claims that recent efforts to make money such as charging $19.95 for Emergency 911 calls and installing parking meters where parking has never been a problem, have boosted city revenues by nearly 30%.
"Not only are we making money, but we have also cut down on the number of emergency calls", Ms Weird said in response to the 911 surcharge. "Now people only call 911 when their lives are in danger. Twenty bucks seems pretty cheap to have your life saved, doesn't it?"
Ms Weird pointed out that residents also have the option of paying $5.95 a month for unlimited 911 service. "Then they can call the cops for every leaf rattle or bump", Ms Weird explained.
As with most cities and towns, property assessments have not changed since the housing crash and economic downturn thus generating more revenue for the city.
Council member Carl Lesshouse said, "if we start charging taxes based on what the homes are actually worth then we would lose a tremendous amount of revenue and would not be able to pay for things like new flowers on the side of the road, for example".
Ms Weird said that if the city can generate enough revenue she will be able to quit her job as a freelance writer and just be Mayor.
"We hope all cities and towns will be able to find creative ways to squeeze money from the taxpayer", said another council member who asked not to be named.
*With apologies to Ventura.