Friday, November 17, 2006

The Great Golden Gate Bridge Sellout

Does the Golden Gate Bridge need a corporate sponsor? The pointy-headed guys and gals at the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District are considering such a deal, and they plan to vote Friday on whether to hire consultant Kevin Bartram to study the situation. The scheme would supposedly help cut the bridge authority's $87 million budget deficit. (No word on how much they would pay Bartram, but regional transit authorities piddled away $1.6 million studying the possibility of installing a suicide barrier on the bridge.)

The San Francisco Chronicle found plenty of man-on-the-street goo goos who think corporate sponsorship is the way to go, but also a surprising number of folks with spines who realize that selling out the Golden Gate Bridge would be a multi-pronged affront to the beautiful structure, the folks who struggled to build it in the 1930s and the history of the Bay Area itself.

We don't normally do politics here at the Wall of Wheeze -- the world only need suffer through one U2 -- but this one hits a little close to home. Over the past 16 years, I've watched the greedheads and the tax-and-spend (and spend and spend and spend) bureaucrats suck almost every last drop of soul out of San Francisco and the Bay Area at large.

If the bridge authority really wants to make its budget, it can follow a couple simple guidelines. Step one: Quit hiring consultants. Step two: Take a whack at the 19 members of the board of directors (too many cooks in the kitchen, you know?).

And for any corporate bigwigs who feel the itch to paste their company's name atop that splendid "international orange" span, consider just how sick you'll feel when you have to tell the shareholders about the boycott. (And maybe think about throwing your sponsorship dollars at something appropriate -- like a music festival -- instead.)

There. I feel better now.

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