Letters to Editor
‘An $81K Per Space Legacy’
Editor, Parking Today:
After serving as a “parking consultant” for over 40 years, I cannot think of any reason why a municipal parking facility, costing $64,000-$81,000 per stall, would ever deserve to be a cover photo on a “parking” magazine.
This could be a real blow to many public and private owners who are considering building a new parking project.
How can this project be a benefit to the “economic health” of the city [Santa Monica, CA] with a $45,000,000 bond issue?
Check out the annual payment and think of the taxpayer burden for many years to come! Is funding really that easy in California these days?
There is no way that this project can be financially feasible with 744 stalls (net increase of 420 stalls). Quite a price to pay for “visitors to enjoy a colorful, artistic vision ...”
It also is of dubious interest that a public employee would claim this project to be his personal mission of “Leaving Something Behind.” Ouch! ... One can understand why there were no credits given to the humble designers and contractors.
Shoup Questioned as to
Efficacy of “Charity Spaces"
Editor, Parking Today:
Parking Today’s April issue featuring an article by Donald Shoup “Charity Spaces’ an Answer to Parking Holidays” states cities should consider donating their meter money to charity during the Christmas season. This concept appears on the surface to be a way to make people feel good during the holidays, however the loss of meter revenue has additional hidden fiscal consequences. There are costs associated with parking meter collections, maintenance, and with the case of electronic meters, data transmission costs that have to be paid if gross rather than net meter revenue is donated.
Cities do not operate like universities or private companies who can decide to donate to whomever they choose. It is a dangerous precedent to have cities donate public funds directly from meters to a charity because there is no provision for oversight. Cities create, sponsor and fund social services and programs that are vetted and evaluated with scrutiny. There is no reason cities cannot budget to fund programs for the most in need during the holidays. Although the intent of directly donating meter revenue to a selected charity is to do good, it really does a disservice to constituents who trust government officials to manage and oversee how their money is spent on programs and services that they have decided to fund as a community.
Parking Services & Projects Officer City of West Hollywood