Former City assessor and treasurer Peter Barney has a suggestion for reducing the amount of prostitution in New Bedford.

Barney, who worked for the City for nearly four decades, is now a candidate for a Council-at-Large seat.

Speaking on "The Taylor Cormier Show," Barney says it may be a good idea to have prostitutes and "johns" tested for disease upon their arrest, and then release that information to the public. "You couldn't give out the person's name, of course. The ACLU would never let you do that. But, if you found out that 40% or 50% of your prostitutes had problems, that might be a way to keep people from using them," said Barney.

As far as panhandlers, Barney says the only way to get rid of them is to stop giving them money.

On the City budget, Barney says the City needs to either broaden it's tax base, or make significant cuts in the budget. Barney says one way to free up some cash is to reduce the City's contributions to the pensions of it's workers by moving to a different retirement system. "We could try to begin to move into a 401K-type system, which would take it off of the City's taxpayers and put it to the individual contributions. That's being done in Michigan and some other states and that seems to be working. It takes time to do that." Barney says while retirement costs have been rising, healthcare costs have been steady over the past several years.

Barney is one of eleven candidates looking to clinch a spot in the final elections. The preliminary election is October 6.

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