Portsmouth Revisited…


Portsmouth Revisited…

I got this note from the person who is passing around the petition to open up the discussions of P and D purchases in Portsmouth, NH. I am sorry he was insulted.

I find your blog personally very insulting and suggest you check your facts and their sources..

Who says this?   Granite State residents are slow to change and of course they got their dander up when test machines were installed. But they got used to them. And even liked them. Ot this?  I’m guessing much of this process already happened before the council voted to buy,

Or this?  one person that is going to raise hell, or has a vested interest, or just too much time on their hands.

I guess this is the quote that got me to thinking that some people in Portsmouth like the meters.

“They’re convenient. I think they’re great,” said resident Erik Swanson. “The biggest complaint is you have to walk a little ways, but if you don’t have the six quarters (for the old meters), you have to walk a lot farther.”

Another quote from the article:

Resident Tom Rosenwald summed up his views by saying New Englanders are notorious for being against change.

“When it started, we were opposed to it, too. Now, after we’ve gotten used to them, we find them very convenient,” said Rosenwald. “We’re not talking about a quarter-mile; we’re not talking about the Bataan Death March.” Others supported the environmental advantages of the new system, which are solar-powered.

And what got my attention about the “one person…” was the picture of my correspondent holding a petition he was circulating to get the council to revisit the project. My understanding is that he succeeded and open meetings were and are being held.

As for his personal bias, he is the former chairman of a company that makes affinity/debit cards for use in parking meters and shopping. He may have no skin in the game, but certainly he has an opinion, or bias. And rightly so. It seems to me that he is the right person to be asking questions, because of that bias. I also wonder at the strength of his response to me, since his approach, his petition, and his leadership seemed to have succeeded and he got the day in court for which he asked.

As for my bias, of course I’m biased. I admit it. I think that cities need to develop ways to increase the amount charged for parking on street. That may be meters with debit or credit cards, pay by cell, P and D, P by Space, or in car meters, but on street parking is mostly under priced and one of the main reasons is that the cities don’t have a vehicle to collect the additional revenues. However if you reread my post below, I think you will find that although I do use a bit of humor to get the point across, I also hinted that the process may have moved too quickly, and some hard questions hadn’t yet been asked.

Most of these campaigns, whether for or against a project, have a leader. Someone who has some sort of interest in it. I can’t understand for the life of me what’s wrong with that. Why would someone that has no vested interest spend time and money to oppose or support a project?

I’m sure that when all the facts are known, and both sides have had their say, the good people of Portsmouth will make the right decision, whatever it may be, and some of the citizenry will be unhappy. Welcome to America.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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