Opinion » Letters

Be fair, Shredder

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This responds to your shred of our city attorney for his letter to a person who hired several young men to feed parking meters. Predictably, the Shredder played the letter as a “City Scrooge� holiday story. Here’s the real story.

Merchants depend upon the turnover of on-street parking spaces for their customers. Parking limits and enforcement ensure this turnover. Otherwise many spaces would be occupied all day by some business owners, employees, and other non-shoppers. It is a constant battle now with some who seem to enjoy the “cat and mouse� game. Bottom line: Feeding meters to illegally extend on-street parking is a lump of coal for most merchants and not a “gift.�

Second, our female parking enforcement officer did not perceive the men who were following her as a band of merry elves out to spread a little holiday cheer. Instead, she felt harassed and bullied. Such treatment was cruel and unfair to someone simply trying to do her job. It doesn’t take much imagination to conjure the gut-level anxiety created by several men trailing a female employee, regardless of their supposedly “good intentions.� By the way, they did not bother our male enforcement officer.

There is a small group of downtown businesspersons who have strong philosophical differences with our downtown parking program. Fair enough. These differences, however, should be pursued through the process that exists for debating such issues — the democratic process — and not by childishly breaking rules and intimidating employees who are simply doing their job.

Ken Hampian

City administrative officer

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