“Makes no sense to me” (73)

(73rd in a series of posts on parking)

The parking system in Bethlehem: the mayor has responsibility for meter rates, the City Council for fines, and the Bethlehem Parking Authority for the parking lots.

Councilman Callahan

“When the Parking Authority was created, who came up with the rules that the mayor takes care of the meters and City Council takes care of the fines. . . . Who made the rules and how could they possibly be changed?”

Mayor Donchez

“I think the answer to your question is that I really don’t know. But what I assume is this. The Parking Authority used to be within the Police department, and I think we are probably talking about 1960s or early 1970s. It was removed, set up as an independent Board with an executive director hired by the Board to be less political and having all the tickets fixed within City Hall. And I think that the key reason was the Authority could take out bonds. I would think that when they established the Board, they came up with the trifecta, which makes no sense to me, to be very honest with you.”

Councilman Callahan

“I don’t agree with the structure. . . . I have no idea how it came up. . . . I don’t know if it can be changed or whatever.”

Sounds like homework for an historian to me.

2 thoughts on ““Makes no sense to me” (73)

  1. My recollection is that the Parking Authority responsibilities were housed in the Department of Parks & Public Property. I recall then department director John Schweder and then parking supervisor Mike Spitzer being at odds with one another. I’m working on over thirty year old memories, but I think Paul Marcincin was the Mayor when the transition to an authority was made. That would have placed this between 1978 and 1987.

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  2. I knew the creation of the Parking Authority was after my dad was on council (when Payrow was mayor). And my sense is the “triumvirate” is the result of a politicians not giving up power. So council kept some, the mayor some. It should all be in the one place it belongs instead of being micro-managed three ways.

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