OK, now the churches are blaming Bloomberg in NYC for parishioners not turning up on Sunday. The reason? Hizzonner’s institution of Sunday Parking fees. Read all about it here.

The mayor wanted the $7,000,000 in fees and fines that the Sunday parking charges generated — to go into the general fund to "help close the budget gap."

The reverends say that some of their flock have to leave services to feed the meters, others don’t turn up at all because of the parking fees.

First of all, if the churches are having attendance problems due to parking fees, they have a bigger problem than Bloomy. They may need to rethink the topics of their sermons. Remember the adage, "if you build it, they will come."  My guess is that if the preachers worked on their delivery, a couple of bucks in parking fees wouldn’t keep the booties from the pews. However lets review this through a Shoupista’s eyes. I wonder what the pastors would have said if the $7 mil had been earmarked to clean up the streets round their churches — repairing lighting, putting in new sidewalks and cleaning up garbage, rather than disappearing into the morass called the "general fund?"  What if new playgrounds, parks and the like were built across the street from the church’s meeting hall. I wonder if a couple of extra police patrols were laid on in the area it would help.

The ministers might have a very different attitude.

Oh yes, what about the local Rabbis. Are they complaining about the parking fees on Friday night?  Well, I know that many Jews walk to temple, but surely those reform members on the upper East and West Side who jump in their Volvo’s and head for a evening with God have to pay for their parking. Where’s the equality…


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John Van Horn

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