Tallahassee Reports continues to get a number of emails from those affected by the new City of Tallahassee parking program. Most of these emails focus on the fairness issue and the money involved. Click here to see an application for the City Employee Parking program.
A review by Tallahassee Reports indicates that one reason the parking program may be implemented is because it qualifies as a green program.
Fact 1 : The parking application program provides for “Alternative Transportation” which includes bike riding, bus riding, and car pooling. Those that choose “Alternative Transportation” three days a week will receive a discount on parking fees.
Fact 2: The City’s Green Initiatives 2008 Annual Report indicates that:
The City shall utilize a collaborative approach to environmental stewardship, which raises awareness among its employees, engages its citizens, and seeks to develop public-private partnerships. The effectiveness of this policy shall be monitored and validated through a comprehensive measurement and verification methodology……the City will develop transportation policies that”promote alternative fuels and ecncourage commuter choices.
This is being pushed on the employees as a way to supplement the budget. If this doesn’t happen with the budget deficit, jobs “may” be lost. What you have is a way for the City to gain general revenue dollars from the people they are paying, most of which are City residents and utility Customers, i.e. they are already paying. The same goes for the accident fee they “may” charge you. You don’t have a choice of opting out of a dispatch and you are already paying for public saftey, but they “may” charge you again for actually utilizing a service you already pay for with your taxes and utilities.
The City needs to relearn the difference between wants and needs, just like any other business or houshold. The City’s responsibilities include public saftey, essential services and utilities. Anything in the budget other than these things is a want and should be cut if there is no budget to support it. Gaines Street Improvement, Smart Meters, Performing Arts Center, etc. all projects with zero return on investment that will in fact cost the residents of this City more money to maintain and operate.
This is CRAZY. And the way it is being sold to employees is not as a green program. They are being told if they do not sign and agree to pay someone may lose their job. So even though no one will say where the money will go it is being implied that each department will get to keep what they collect so they will not have to lay off people. What can be done to stop it????
When will the citizens that vote these people into office wake up? Nothing our elected officials do is open and above board. I wonder, do the city and county officials that get a vehicle provided pay for parking?