THE LOCAL NORM: MAYOR BIG BOY HOPES TO PULL A FAST (FOOD) ONE, TOOBy Norm de Ploom
Unveiling his “Contempt You Can Taste!” promotion at a news conference last week, Foster acknowledged that cheap food retailers are uniquely positioned to convince Long Beach citizens to accept a budget that slashes services to residents while maintaining cushy pay, perks and benefits to elected officials and top city managers.
“If we can get a burger chain to say that police protection is not as important as helping a city official buy a new boat, that would really help us out here,” Foster said. “If Chick-fil-A has taught us anything, it’s taught us that hateful ideas seem almost patriotic when accompanied by hot fat and high-fructose corn syrup.”
The “Contempt You Can Taste!” plan calls for Long Beach fast-food restaurant owners to announce they actually think one of the mayor’s disrespectful budget ideas makes good sense. Then the city’s fearful, unreflective and passive-aggressive citizens—who would never publicly admit they hate poor people or their neighbors or the idea that hardships should be shared equitably—can go to those restaurants and maintain they’re just there for the food, while winking at their friends.
“No one should impugn the work performed by myself, the council members and top city managers, or the contributions we make to our city,” Foster said. “We are a special class immune from the economy, modern work rules and sustainable salaries and benefits.”
In crafting his list of reprehensible budget items, Foster said he focused on ideas and priorities that would sound completely ridiculous if expressed by anyone other than a fast-food entrepreneur. That list includes:
• Cutting 40 police officers, reducing crime investigation services and easing up on gang-crime enforcement while maintaining full pay, perks and benefits for the mayor, council members and top city managers.
• Cutting the fire department’s budget, eliminating a fire engine company and slashing spending on paramedics while maintaining full pay, perks and benefits for the mayor, council members and top city managers.
• Reducing library hours, cutting library staff and slashing library programs and services while maintaining full pay, perks and benefits for the mayor, council members and top city managers.
• Closing public swimming pools, eliminating youth sports and after school programs and degrading services by privatizing street sweeping and trash collection while maintaining full pay, perks and benefits for the mayor, council members and top city managers.
“It’s about as hateful a list as I, the council members and top city managers could come up with,” Foster said. “Now—who wants fries with that?”