Pay-to-parlay: “If your mouth is running at the Supes’ meeting, well, so is the meter”

THC felt it of the utmost importance to give a nod and heartfelt thumbs-up to the crack reporting of Flib Flezner over at the Madness Ribber Funion; he (she?) surely sets the standard we should all aspire to.

From the MRU:

“If your mouth is running at the Supes’ meeting,well, so is the meter

Flib Flezner
Madness Ribber Funion

HUMBOLDT, APRIL 1 – Not enough of one thing and plenty of another. That’s the reality confronting local leaders in balancing resources.

Following a costly study, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors has decided to tap an abundant Humboldt County resource –public bloviation – and will charge for public comment as a way to shore up the General Fund.

Public speakers will be charged an initial rate of 21 cents per second, which works out to $37.80 for an initial three minutes at the podium per day.  Members of the public who wish to speak on multiple items will see their rate double for each additional trip to the podium.

County Administrative Officer Amy Nilsen said the rates were based upon actual costs to the county. “When you consider the cost for staff time, Access Humboldt and overhead for everyone to sit there and listen to the same speakers over and over again, it works out to about $13 per minute” Nilsen said. “Over the course of a year, that’s a big hit to the General Fund.”

“Some members of the public take three minutes at the podium every time the Board calls for public comment,” Nilsen said. “One person can easily take up 30 minutes or more of the county’s time every Tuesday.”  Nilsen paused before adding, “And he does.”

With the multiplier, a second three-minute trip to the podium would cost the speaker $75.60.  A third trip would cost $151.20.

A member of the public who takes 10 trips to the podium in a single day would pay $19,353.60 for their last turn, and a total of $38,669.40 for the day.

The fee would generate nearly $1.74 million yearly.

Revenue generated by the new public speaking fee will go into a special fund to support mental health programs, including intervention for people with a manic addiction to public speaking.

Taking a cue, Arcata officials were looking at ways to monetize all the yelling that goes on in its streets.

“Like the saying goes,” said First District Supervisor Rex Bohn, “Free speech isn’t free.””

Happy April 1st, gang!

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2 Responses to Pay-to-parlay: “If your mouth is running at the Supes’ meeting, well, so is the meter”

  1. Marc Delany says:

    Install a parking meter at the podium


  2. Uri Driscoll says:

    Are we gonna be able to pan handle before we go in to make comment?
    Can we take donations?
    Will these charges apply to the Supervisor(s) who drone on and on and on and on….
    Or just the unpaid public?


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