Parking Protests Again Flavor Car Show PublicityBy Ari L. Noonan @ 10:00 AM May 08, 2012
On Saturday morning for the ninth straight year, the entrepreneur George Barris’s Back to the ’50s Car Show will be floridly staged in the bosom of Downtown, from 9 to 3.
For the eighth straight year, adjacent residents are dominating the conversation.
They are bringing stentorian complaints about what is called overrun parking.
No matter how aggressively the sponsoring Exchange Club promotes the spectacular importation of 400 eye-catching vehicles, activist neighbors remain unpersuaded that their lives will not be disrupted.
No matter how urgently John Cohn of the Exchange Club vowed at last night’s City Council meeting that red-shirted club members would direct all visitors to the three Downtown parking garages, two major voices resisted.
City Councilwoman Meghan Sahli-Wells and gadfly neighbor Cary Anderson, who has made a years’ long habit of bringing bitter parking complaints before the Council, expressed doubts about satisfactory enforcement and sufficient car space for residents.
City Manager John Nachbar’s 7-minute surface introduction of the budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 was equal parts grim and succinct, and in no way surprising.
Loss of funding from the state’s elimination of the Redevelopment Agency cost City Hall $7.5 million, and the city will operate from an increasingly deeper structural deficit for the foreseeable years while subtracting 19 jobs. The two-night budget discussion is a month away, Monday, June 4, and Tuesday, June 5.
The End – Almost
Occasionally, the most interesting shmoozing, especially on slow nights, is reserved for the final moments.
Before adjourning, each member is invited to comment.
When third-year Councilman Jeff Cooper’s turn came, he suggested convening a City Charter review to close the loophole that enabled former member Scott Malsin to resign last Dec. 12 and promptly run for re-election days later.
That notion sparked several dormant thoughts residing in the mind of Mehaul O’Leary. He declared he had a half-dozen Charter changes to propose
During a cross-dais discussion of how to proceed, Mayor Andy Weissman told his colleagues that when the Charter most recently was reupholstered, the changes not only consumed more than a year but at a price tag exceeding $100,000. “When you figure in staff time and other expenses, it could have added up to a quarter-million dollars,” he said.
A bundle of questions were raised:
“Is this something we need to do?
“Can afford to do it?
“Do we want to do this?”
The Charter next is scheduled for review in 2016.
Instead of waiting four years, Ms. Sahli-Wells urged her new teammates to beat the rush by adopting a resolution or policy that would dissolve the so-called Malsin loophole.
Veteran members pointed out that the Council is powerless to change the Charter. Only a vote of the people can amend a document originally approved by popular vote.