Rip out the meters

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Rip out the meters

Our resident "newbie" in Texas found her first problem:

Yesterday, we attended our first neighborhood civic group meeting. It’s part of our campaign to educate the public on parking within the city .

Needless to say, they didn’t like us! They were upset that parking meters were placed around the local community college (about 5 years ago), yet the private university that is not too far away has no meters. They claimed we were charging the poorest students to park, but the well-off students were not paying a dime.

You should know that we don’t have meters around the private university because the city councilmember over that area put a stop to it. The civic group is demanding that we remove the meters around the community college. How would you recommend handling? Thanks!

Heh —

There’s always suicide — Dealing with the public particularly an agenda driven public,is the worst of the worst.  Now — to get serious.
You are to be congratulated for taking your message to your consitituents. I know its tough work, but somebody has to do it. In the long run you will be much better off.
A true Shoupista would say that what you should do is get some parking money flowing into the area around the community college.  Put the money back into the neighborhood from which it comes.
Revisit the other University and do the same.  Yes you should be consistent, however if you can convince the council that the $$$ will go back into their neighborhoods, then the folks living there would be less opposed.  Also do some studies concerning the number of cars and available spaces. You might find you have actually done the students a favor by ensuring there are spaces for them to use. Perhaps you will find that there are severe parking problems that exist at the "rich" school that don’t exist at the community college.
Maybe a grant to the college for books for the library, and help fund the new recreation area, build something for them, will fill the bill, and be sure your name and plaque is everywhere.
My guess is that they will still have a problem, since they are playing the "poor" card and an inferred "race" card, but that is agenda driven,,,the ones who really care about the college will find that you are doing the right thing.
JVH
John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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