Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Morning Wood: Consider creative alternatives to funding the PVTA

Let’s put Baker to work

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(Daily Collegian File Photo)

(Daily Collegian File Photo)

(Daily Collegian File Photo)

By Pablo Sanchez, Baseball Stud

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Because he’s a heartless tyrant who knows he can win re-election while ignoring western Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker has decreased the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority’s funding overall since 2016. Meanwhile, costs continue to rise each year, and the PVTA faces a $3.1 million shortfall. It plans to pass this cost on to people like you and me, and I would prefer if Baker and the people responsible were put to task for this.

First off, let’s not rule out using Baker himself as physical labor. Despite his bland personality, he is an able-bodied human being capable of driving a bus, collecting fares and repeatedly reminding riders to back up when the B43 is overflowing on a Friday night because everyone is trying to get downtown at the same time. And although he may lack the charisma, work ethic and intelligence that I see PVTA drivers demonstrate, he would help save money on labor costs. By using his labor and not paying him an estimated salary of $30,950 per year, the PVTA could eliminate about one percent of its budget deficit. Some might say it’s unfair to not compensate him for providing quality public transportation, but that sure didn’t stop him from doing it to us.

Baker could also be useful in our efforts to maintain the PVTA’s fleet of buses and vans. No, not as a mechanic — he would need training and experience for that. I’m referring to using him as a replacement alternator, hub cap or timing belt so that the PVTA needs to buy one fewer replacement part when its vehicles deteriorate. Baker’s elastic body and mostly fluid composition could make him highly useful as a cog within a complex machine like a bus.

If efforts to use the governor as a tool to support the PVTA are unsuccessful or are found to violate the eighth amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, we could at least pursue justice for those inconvenienced by his thoughtless allocation of public money.

For example, if Baker continues to level fund the PVTA, perhaps all the spoons in the governor’s kitchen could be “leveled” so that when he attempts to imbibe soup, cereal or other liquids, they spill onto his lap and stain his trousers. That would show him!

Or maybe to deliver justice for the Syrian refugees Baker denied immigration to during one of the worst humanitarian crises of the 21st century, we could force him to experience living in a war-torn disaster zone, like Sylvan Residential Area.

While the PVTA has been very thorough in exploring the best ways to resolve the funding crisis, it shouldn’t rule out any option that could help, even if that means employing Baker to wear a bus-themed mascot suit and dance along North Pleasant Street begging for donations. I’m sure our Massachusetts Daily Collegian readers have plenty of other creative solutions to the PVTA funding crisis that involve humiliating Governor Baker, so feel free to tweet them with #LevelFundCharlieBaker. I, Pablo Sanchez, will feature the best ideas in my column next week.

Pablo Sanchez is a baseball stud that can only be reached through his agent.

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