The local cost of living is admittedly one of the highest in America. But San Francisco is inaugurating a patrol squad that could make residency feasible for a few “lucky” manual laborers, who probably won’t even need college degrees to qualify for the positions about to open with the city.
ZeroHedge brings us the story from the San Francisco Chronicle:
As described when the city initially unveiled the plan, the patrol will consist of a team of five staffers and a supervisor donning protective gear and patrolling the alleys around Polk Street and other “brown zones” in search of everything from hepatitis-laden Hershey squirts to worm-infested-logs. At the Poop Patrol’s disposal will be a special vehicle equipped with a steam cleaner and disinfectant.
The teams will begin their shifts in the afternoon, spotting and cleaning piles of feces before the city receives complaints in order “to be proactive” in the words of the Public Works director Mohammed Nuru, co-creator of the poop patrol initiative.
As interesting as it would be to stop and ponder having the accomplishment “co-creator of the poop patrol initiative” on your resume, we will move this along. Hats off to Mr. Nuru.
The exciting news is that these are quality jobs. With benefits included, the compensation for the actual, er, hands-on positions will be a healthy $184,678 a year per shovelman.
San Francisco has been galvanized to do something about its fast-growing public poop problem by the recent cancellation of a major medical convention, which has been held in the city a number of times but couldn’t risk the health hazards of trying it in 2018. The loss to city revenues was in the millions.
In addition to the fecal build-up, the streets in tourist areas are rife with public urination, homeless people in varying states of illness, and discarded drug needles, among other hazards. Similar perils await passengers in the transit system.
Mayor London Breed has no intention of intervening in a draconian or high-handed manner to stop the pooping and needle-dropping. Although she has spoken of “holding the homeless accountable” for taking care of the streets, what the city is actually doing is making a major investment in cleaning up after them. ZeroHedge cites measures touted by the Public Works department:
- $12 million a year on what essentially have become housekeeping services for homeless encampments
- $2.8 million for a Hot Spots crew to wash down the camps and remove any biohazards
- $2.3 million for street steam cleaners
- $3.1 million for the Pit Stop portable toilets
- $364,000 for a four-member needle team
- An additional $700,000 set aside for a 10-member, needle cleanup squad, complete with its own minivan
As ZeroHedge says, this is basically a housekeeping budget to facilitate undisciplined street living — including public defecation and shooting up — for the homeless.
Mitigating the naturally unpleasant conditions created by using the city streets as a giant toilet-and-sewer system seems unlikely to reduce the homeless population, reduce the poo-and-pee problem, or improve the outlook for taxpaying residents, tourists, and local businesses. But we wish San Franciscans good luck with their plan, and will certainly keep track of the progress for LU readers. From a safe distance outside the smell zone, of course.