During Monday night’s debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters, I stated that I was against the increase in parking fees from 50 cents to a dollar and extending metered parking until midnight in the downtown business district.
Today, I went around to ask more merchants what they felt about the pending changes. As I said during the debate, many merchants are scratching their heads trying to understand this bizarre decision. Some, whose business close at 6PM, are indifferent.
Restaurateurs, especially on Division Street, seemed to support the changes.
Residents are exceedingly angry about extending the metered parking until midnight.
This is a policy disaster for residents and visitors of the downtown area. To have to endure six more hours in which one can receive a ticket while parking downtown is oppressive.
There is a mindset that my opponent and the current council majority share that I cannot consume. It is the term “generate revenue.” I heard it again tonight at the Glenwood Lake Association forum. Our city is in such deep financial straits. And the changes in parking policy are solely for the purpose of creating new streams of revenue. It is not for the purpose of increasing downtown business patronage.
We have the ingredients for a more vibrant and productive downtown area. We have small specialty shops, tea and coffee shops, a college, groceries, diverse restaurants, beauty shops, yoga and exercise facilities. We have good walking traffic at all hours. All we need is a voice on the council that will represent the interests of the residents and merchants. And whose main focus is downtown business revitalization.
I want to be that voice. Vote on Tuesday, November 8.