Penelopedia and other local bloggers have noted the unusual amount of snow we've had hereabouts so far this winter. At the same time, local governments are scrambling to find ways to spend less in the face of dire economic news. The Governor -- he's so charming, with that cute grin of his -- has 'unallotted' about six months worth of state aid payments to local governments, and that's just the first of many such cuts to come.
Here's my idea: stop plowing snow. Seriously. I wonder why snow removal is assumed to be the responsibility of the government. The quickest way to privatize this function is for government to simply stop doing it. And our Governor, not without justification, believes that the private sector is more efficient than government at most things, so relying on the private sector would presumably improve snow removal, right? I would happily join my neighbors in contracting with a private vendor who would plow our street. I'd even pay a small premium if that vendor would promise in writing not to leave heaps of snow at the bottom of my driveway.
Maybe the private company that hauls garbage could equip its trucks with plows. Maybe all those grain trucks that sit idle during winter could become snow plowing and snow hauling trucks. In any case, I trust that the market -- that great engine of innovation and opportunism -- would quickly meet the demand. You live in Northfield and it snows, you either remove the snow yourself (from the place where you live or work and from the portion of the public right-of-way that abuts it) or hire somebody to do it.
What say you, Timmy? Mayor Mary?