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Shell Shocked: Double up — or quit

By Staff | Oct 6, 2010

There’s too much waste in government. Budgets are getting higher and higher and municipal services less and less.

We in Sanibel must ask ourselves if there’s anything we can do to help keep a lid on taxes without sacrificing the quality of our lives.

The answer is to double up.

If all local, state and Federal employees who work on Sanibel could add one more job function to their present responsibilities, taxes could be cut in half in a year.

For example, while it is true that long lines of cars can keep the toll collectors on the Sanibel toll bridge quite busy during seasonal peaks, surely they must have lots of time on their hands during off-peak hours.

The solution? Leave dirty laundry with the toll collectors in the morning and pick it up at night. The toll booths would serve the double function of collecting tolls and laundry.

This same principle could apply to all other municipal services. The mail deliverers could function as automobile driving academies and teach our sons and daughters to drive while delivering mail. Road repair crews could double as sidewalk hotdog vendors. Police could double as medics. While police officers frisk suspected burglars they could also take their pulses and check for possible hernia problems.

Sanibel City Hall could function as an off-track betting parlor for the benefit of our more gambling oriented citizens. Of course, as we know, many City Hall employees already function in that capacity, but now that function could be legalized.

The post office would function as a maternity ward at the same time it sorts and distributes mail. It needn’t even change its terminology. Both functions would offer special deliveries. Lee County hospitals could become discotheques at night.

And so on and so on. Of course, we would need the full cooperation of citizens and municipal servants if such a system is going towork. But, if we gave each of our municipal employees and facilities more to do, Sanibel would have at its disposal huge sums of money to do with as it pleases. Can you imagine what luxuries we could afford with this bonus

nest egg?

We could import sand from Bali to take care of the beach erosion problem once and for all. We could import more exotic sea shells from around the world and place them strategically on our beaches. We would have enough money to secede from Lee County. We could hire a New York ad agency to create multi-million dollar spots glamorizing Sanibel during Super Bowls.

We could attract a major league baseball team and an NFL football team by building a stadium that would accommodate 100,000 screaming fans.

We could host the Sanibel Marathon and invite thousands of runners to sample our 26-mile course which would be created by running back and forth from the causeway to South Seas Plantation ten times.

We could provide free lunch for all Sanibel and Captiva residents for a month.

We could create the Sanibel Film Festival and compete with Cannes and Sundance for thousands of movie fans.

And all we have to do to achieve these riches and benefits is double up. I urge you all to write to the City Council and ask them to start passing some bills. And at the same time encourage the City Council to also

double up. Invite them to be alligator handlers.