(59th in a series of posts on parking)
“In my book, BPA, you lose.”
Ha! BPA will not lose anything tangible because of me.
Gadfly, of course, has no power.
(Though there is wisdom to the advice first found scratched on a wall in the caves of Lascaux maybe 25,000 years ago that “it is not wise to piss off the guy with the pen.”)
Gadfly has always said that he could live with the proposed increases and even with new Walnut and Polk garages if the case was made, but his problem was with “the disingenuous way the BPA presented its case, and the condescending view of its audience (‘us,’ Gadfly followers) contained in that presentation. Gadfly finds himself in the curious position of willing to accept the message while being repelled by the actions of the messenger.”
Gadfly has said that he finds himself “in the “revoltin’ position of hoping Council can do something, if not to deny the BPA proposal, but to force it to recognize how it has acted.”
If Gadfly had power he would at least haul up the Bethlehem Parking Authority under the Right of Residents to Respect Act (RRR) for “Conduct Unbecoming a Ticketer.”
So, where are we.
The date for the implementation of the new meter rates and fines, according to original Bethlehem Parking Authority plan, is January 1.
That date has to be preceded by a kind of run-up public relations campaign coordinated by Desman to explain the changes to and prepare the public for the new system.
That means time is tight.
Gadfly has said that he wouldn’t “do business with BPA until some things are straightened out.”
Gadfly has said that what President Waldron and Council did in submitting questions to BPA was “eminently fair.”
The next City Council meeting is November 7 (remember, Election Day has pushed the regular meeting day back one day). Less than one week away.
For all Gadfly knows, BPA has already turned in its “exam,” and Council is “grading” it.
Political strategy is far above Gadfly’s pay grade, but let’s think about what could happen Nov. 7 or before:
- Council could be happy with BPA answers, approve the fine proposal, and BPA goes ahead with implementation plans for a January 1 roll-out.
- Council could have mixed emotions about BPA answers, but seeing no practical alternative, approves the fine proposal, and BPA goes ahead with implementation plans for a January 1 roll-out.
- Council could be unhappy with BPA answers, deny the fine proposal, and BPA goes ahead with implementation of meter rates for a January 1 roll-out – creating the awkward situation where it might be more cost-effective for a parker to pay a fine.
- Council could be unhappy with BPA answers, deny the fine proposal, and BPA holds up implementation plans for a January 1 roll-out until there is further negotiation.
- Council could be unhappy with BPA answers, deny the fine proposal, and the Mayor mandates putting a brake on implementation plans for a January 1 roll-out until there is further negotiation.
- BPA, recognizing that there is no magic to the January 1 date, recognizing that there are legitimate issues unanswered, recognizing that creative ideas were not addressed in the Desman study, could withdraw both proposals, form a small committee with Council members and interested residents, and begin the process again. Kumbaya!
- This space reserved for your idea.
Gadfly is anxious to see BPA’s answers (will he? will they be made public?), hoping, as he said, for “facts, clarity, focus.”
Gadly’s initial belief was that Council was “over the barrel,” so to speak, that now that meter rate increases have been approved by the Mayor, fines have to go up. Otherwise absurdity. What could Council do but approve?
But then came the list of questions.
Must wait and see.
In the meantime, any speculations about the bulleted scenarios above?
What’s your bet?