Normally, a city has elections, and eventually has elected officers who act on the behalf of the residents of the city. It's a simple process. It's worked for well over two hundred years in America.
Out in California.....the Vallejo city council got around to avoiding their elected duty. They figured out the perfect deal. They put a taxation measure up for the city residents....if you passed it....you as a city resident got the chance to spend thirty percent of the "take" (loot would work here too).
The amount? It's around $3.2 million that the residents can put their hands onto.
How this would work? Well....you'd have these budget assemblies that would put themselves together, which anyone over the age of fourteen could participate in. Naturally, you ask why anyone under eighteen is allowed into this, but there is no real answer to this.
Everyone tends to think they are part of the process.
So they eventually whittle this down to thirty projects by May of 2013. These get put onto a city ballot and put into a special city election. At best, you can figure around five projects will get funded. So you split this up and kinda figure that it amounts to roughly $600k per project.
What can you get for $600k? Nothing much. You might be able to replace one sidewalk around a city block. You might be able to paint the interior and exterior of the city library. You might be able to replace the playground at the city park. $600k doesn't really pay for very much....when you sit down and do the real math.
Everyone runs around and pats themselves on the back....for participating. Here's the thing. If this is such a keen idea....why bother with a city council and just run everything with mayor and this possible monthly voting process? The city council is avoiding any real duty....if you ask me. Everyone starts to feel good....even if you are a bankrupt city.
The odds of passing more of these tax revenue increases? That's the interesting thing. Once folks get it in their head that you have this great power....there's bound to be discussions over adding more taxes from the wealthy. Push the property tax up five percent more. Go ask the high-end car dealers to add a $750 fee onto the purchase of any car over $50k.
This tactic has the tendency to make everyone to start thinking of a mass movement (go read Eric Hoffer's True Believer book). You could pass tax after tax, and not feel bad about it. Eventually, you'd all be unemployed, but full empowered. Life could be wonderful and miserable....at the same time.