One fun part of city government is the piece-meal approach to things. There was a story yesterday about the zone parking program, and how it loses money (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07213/805899-53.stm). Apparently the costs of having parking enforcement people cruise the streets looking for no-good-nicks is higher than what the tickets take in (probably because they have to stay in an area for at least an hour before being able to issue their first ticket; maybe this is where we need some bicycle-riding parking enforcement people). The city has put off 26 neighborhood expansion requests for zone parking because it loses money. According to the story the city can break even by raising the fie from $25 to $35, and maybe come out a little ahead by increasing the cost of guest passes (from its current $1). Fair enough, we don’t want to see this city lose money, though I would just as well prefer no new zoned parking (with what, Greek letters?). Today there is this story (http://post-gazette.com/pg/07214/806313-53.stm): the city wants to leave downtown parking tax rates at their current levels (45%), even though the city is mandated to reduce them to 35% by, I believe, the terms of the Act 47 agreement. Now, I think Act 47 also suggests we have the non-profits contribute much more money, and that we will soon be awash in slots revenue from the slot parlor that should be built any day now. Is there anyone out there who can view all this as a gestalt? Because clearly the city council can’t. I’m reminded of the movie “Dave”, where the faux President and his accountant friend sat down with federal budget and went through it line by line, to find x millions of cost savings. The Mayor still takes credit for calling for a unanimous vote on Act 47, after voting against it several times. I hold little hope he would take the lead here.
No final word from the council on the zone parking process. Council has the preliminary and final votes on things, but this meeting was just talking.