Public Fixtures For Sale To Private Purchasers; You Too Can Own A Streetlamp, Park Bench, Or Road Sign
Not a day passes that we, the people, aren't asked to dig deep into our pockets to pay for things -- privately -- that we thought were being funded by our public tax dollars.
Buy-A-Brick programs abound, for lining public sidewalks with private pavers.
Sponsor-A-Highway -- or an entire community, if you'd like -- with dollars from your pocket, to pick up litter, fill potholes, remove graffiti, or perform other public services that, once upon a time, were paid for by your taxes.
And now, at least in places like the village of Westbury in the Town of North Hempstead, you can actually buy streetlamps -- yes, streetlamps -- at $3500 a pop. [We wonder if that includes the light bulb?]
The village will even give you a commemorative plaque noting your most generous donation.
If private funds are maintaining municipal services, tell us, where do our tax dollars go?
And what's next to go on the auction block?
Surely, we will be able to purchase our own private garbage trucks. [Wait. We think the mob has an exclusive on private carting.]
Perhaps a few thousand dollars from your personal stash will buy a repaved roadway and new curbing in front of your house.
We hear that the bathroom fixtures at village hall are up for grabs!
This could be a veritable boon for the likes of e-Bay and the Home Shopping Network.
Then again, we could take entire special taxing districts private by buying them out. Hey, they're basically run as private enterprises -- self-benefit corporations, if you will -- anyway.
Or maybe we should skip the small stuff like streetlamps [make mine Victorian-style] and highway clean-ups [can I get another black bag over here?], and put our hard-earned cash where it could do the most good -- like buying ourselves a town supervisor or county legislator to put in those pockets from which every last dollar seems to be taken.
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From The Westbury Times:
Help Revitalize Westbury Village, 'Buy' a Downtown Streetlight
Anthony Core of Jamaica Ash and Rubbish, a family owned business that has been part of Westbury Village for generations, recently "purchased" a Post Avenue streetlight. In recognition, the village secured a plaque on the lamp poll to commemorate Jamaica Ash's "purchase."
After receiving an appropriation from former New York State Senator Michael Balboni a few years back, the village decided to accept offers from businesses or persons interested in "buying" one of the new streetlights for a $3,500 donation. Core's donation will aid in the village's efforts to revitalize its downtown.
To date, several others have lined up to do the same and the village will install a plaque on each lamppost to commemorate the donation.
Not all streetlights have been gifted yet. If you or your company is interested in "buying" a streetlight, contact Westbury Village Hall at 334-1700, ext. 111.