What a revoltin’ development this is! (35)

(35th in a series of posts on parking)

People of Gadfly’s long-in-tooth age will remember the famous and well-worn phrase “What a revoltin’ development this is!” from the classic radio and television series “The Life of Riley.”

Gadfly was thinking of those words at last night’s Public Safety committee meeting on the parking fines element of the BPA rate increase proposal.

(Remember, one example would be raising the fine for a meter violation from $10 to $15.)

The conjoined twins of the proposal are meter rates and violation fees. They should be going in the same direction.

But they aren’t. At least not yet.

Somebody, somewhere – and more likely somebodies – is saying this morning, “What a revoltin’ development this is!”

For after the Mayor last week approved the parking fee increase, the Public Safety committee of City Council rejected the fine proposal. Councilpersons Negron and Van Wirt voted nay, and Councilperson and committee chair Colon voted aye.

Councilpersons Waldron (Council president) and Reynolds were there and also engaged in the discussion.

The proposal will still go to the full City Council for consideration at next Tuesday’s Oct 16 meeting.

Gadfly wonders if you did the homework he assigned yesterday. Are you up to speed?

Frankly, Gadfly expected a fairly smooth meeting. Not so. But certainly a very, very interesting one. Lots of important issues.

And to borrow Councilperson Reynolds’ oft-repeated phrase, lots of very important and “complicated” issues.

The Morning Call covered the hearing, and I’ll bet we get a full description by tomorrow.

Here’s how Councilperson Van Wirt summed up the meeting on her Facebook page:

At Bethlehem’s Public Safety Committee meeting tonight, the Mayor and BPA’s request to raise the parking fines were not supported by the committee in a 2-1 vote ( Olga Negron and I voted no, Michael Colon voted yes). The request will now go for a vote before all of city council with a negative recommendation from the Public Safety Committee.

The major point for me voting against this increase is the fact that there is no coherent plan from the Parking Authority, and I do not support the concomitant increased parking meter fees, which may negatively impact our downtown businesses.

Sometimes, there is little more boring than municipal parking issues. Despite this, there are people on both sides of this issue who care deeply about the city. It’s the issues that exist in the cracks, the often overlooked bureaucratic details, where the deep seams of transparency and accountability lie.

Unfortunately, Gadfly is hard-pressed for time today but hopes to return with some comments this afternoon.

In the meantime, Gadfly hopes for comments from participants, other attendees, and onlookers from a distance.

But Gadfly found the meeting far from revolting. Important issues here that need airing.

More later.

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