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Worried about a negative impact on local businesses, the Gretna City Council has decided to suspend ticketing violations for parking meters in downtown Gretna.

The Times-Picayune reported Wednesday that Mayor Ronnie Harris’ 2010 budget projected an increase of $30,000 in revenue from parking fines and meters because of more enforcement.

But on Monday, the council voted unanimously for an indefinite moratorium proposed by Councilwoman Belinda Constant that would prevent city workers from issuing tickets for expired meters.

Enforcement of parking meter violations was ramped up recently at the request of the mayor to boost the city’s coffers.

Let me parse this for those of you not familiar with municipal politics.

The town is out of money and the mayor is looking for ways to increase income (heaven forbid hizzhonor’s driver should be placed on part time). The city council who is most likely on the opposite side of the mayor’s when it comes to politics, takes a position that will likely be, on the surface, favorable to the voters.

The result of that vote will be that the down town merchants will find that there is no place for their customers to park since their employees will be taking all the parking spaces. The city will also find that ALL income from the parking meters will be gone since only a fool would put a quarter in a meter in downtown Gretna. The merchants will then “Demand” that action be taken to solve the downtown parking problem, since it will be obvious that there aren’t enough parking spaces. A study costing $50,000 will be demanded by all concerned. The study will conclude that there would be plenty of parking if current parking rules were enforced. The city council will blame the mayor for not enforcing the law. The Mayor will blame the city council for not letting him enforce the law.

In the meantime 20% of the businesses downtown will go out of business because shoppers would prefer to go to the giant mall down I 10 where they charge for parking, but it is plentiful.

JVH

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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