Paid Shopper Parking Halted, Again, By Bond Ordinance Failure
Amendments to rates and times approved; equipment bond ordinance fails.
Common Council approved rates and times to implement paid shopper parking but the plan has been halted once again by council's failure to pass the bond ordinance to pay for the plan.
"What we are trying to create is a positive parking experience," said Councilwoman Nuris Portundo, who was present via conference call.
However, Mayor Jordan Glatt asked to delay a vote until September due to the fact that he felt the Democratic process had been shirked when the proposal became an ordinance at the June 21 council meeting after be listed on the agenda as an item for Discussion, Action or Referral.
Glatt said neither he nor Councilmen Steve Murphy or Michael Vernotico receieved any information regarding the ordinance prior to the meeting.
"The fact that half your council had information prior to the others is just to me, really the only word I have to say, I felt … insulted.," Glatt said.
A motion to postpone a final vote on the fee structure amendmens until Sept. 20 was defeated and the ordinance was ultimately approved 4-3. However, the bond ordinance was defeated 4-3 because it needed a 5-2 super majority vote.
The plan would have reduced the current two-hours free parking to 30 minutes and then charged based on a sliding-scale of duration.
- Up to 90 minutes: $1
- Up to 2 1/2 hours: $2
- Up to 3 1/2 hours: $4
- Up to 4 1/2 hours: $6
- Up to 5 1/2 hours: $8
- Up to 6 1/2 hours: $10
- Up to 7 1/2 hours: $12
- More than 7 1/2 hours: $20
- Lost ticket: $20
The changes would apply to all three Deforest Avenue Shopper lots and the lower level of the Tier Garage.
The rates for parking permits for residents and employees is also proposed to increase. A monthly pass would remian $80 while a quarterly pass would increase from $228 to $240 and an annual pass would increase from $864 to $960.
"The whole thing is completely and totally flawed," Vernotico said, citing issues not only with the cost estimates but with the revenue estimates which suggest the project would be paid for by the Parking Utility, not taxes, in 10 years.
"Paid parking is a terrible, horrible, discouraging idea," said resident Joan Bennett. "People will not want to come to Summit to shop."
However, tension arose at the meeting between members of council and between the audience and council when Council President Dave Bomgaars explained council actually already approved the concept of paid shopper parking, and the fee schedule to go with it, back in November.
"This is an ordinance, it is on the books and we are basically making a tweaking tonight," he said.
But resident Gil Owren said no one in the community believed there was paid shopper parking in Summit.
"What is occurring is very, very clever," he said. "When the bond ordinance was defeated in December the perception was that paid parking was defeated, too. This is a hoodwink of the public."
Murphy detailed several other instances over the last year, including the council's vote to censure Vernotico last year over allegations against Councilman Tom Getzendanner, in which council has acted without transparency and honesty.
"They are acting behind a curtain," Murphy said. "There’s a wizard pulling the strings like in Oz."