11/19/2006 HR


Dear Editor,
With last week's article on 916 Garden, we are no doubt faced with another costly blunder. And it is still not over! How much more can we take. I say none, zero, zilch, nil. This not only affects those that park at 916 Garden, but the city as a whole. With what was touted by the city as...state of the art and first of its kind; will solve our parking problems; to.. .let's dissolve the authority and bring it in house to control (and spend) the money, and lastly, appoint somebody locally to manage parking, we are now faced with virtually no solution but more posturing and more waste.

I am surprised that there has been little public outcry over this situation and hence perhaps lack of diplomacy and good counsel to negotiate a settlement in the interest of the public - those that park at 916 Garden and everyone else in the city that pays for this capital project in their taxes. I know those that park there (like us) are upset, frustrated and downright angry over this situation that worsens by the moment. Remember this garage was paid for with bond proceeds which have semi-annual interest payments. Those payments are appropriated in the budget, and they are high. And with no reserves (which were spent – all $15 million at the time of dissolution of the parking authority to fill a budget deficit) to off set repair and replacement costs, additional costs associated with Robotic's lawsuit and retrofitting this facility, we will all pay again. Think of the cost of frustration of having to pay for something you cannot use, then having to look fora space, or park in another facility far away. And then there is the cost of renting a car, potential loss of wages at work for being late - or even fired?

Who do we think should be held accountable for these continued missteps? I am asking the public to step up and motion a "public bid" for a new Director. We need to hire a parking professional (and please not another consultant) that has experience - plain and simple. I am asking the public to question and consider the actions (or lack thereof) of their local councilperson on this situation – because it financially affects you. We need new leadership on city counsel which will endeavor to hire the best most qualified professionals to tackle and professionally solve complicated problems like the 916 Garden parking garage and other.

We should all be tired of watching the continued waste of our precious tax resources by the same appointees and elected officials. The opportunity cost is huge, and hard to put a number on it. Just think of what we could have done with these funds now gone and continuing to fly but the window. I can think of infrastructure and other quality of life initiatives. I bet you can think of many other things too.

Peter Cunningham

See: You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig

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