Thursday, February 27, 2014

Park It Anywhere - The Harbor Island Community Meeting

UPDATE Feb 28 - The Harbor Island Parking Plan will not but on the agenda for the March commission meeting.  It is scheduled for April.  

In a post on February 13, I wrote about the half baked, poorly thought out response to the parking issue on Harbor Island.  While the two commissioners who live on Harbor Island, Eddie Lim and Jorge Gonzalez were perfectly fine with creating a residential parking program with no data, inaccurate counts of the condos and no resident input, two other commissioners, Wendy Duvall and Richard Chervony, both said they would vote no and clearly told the village manager two things.  

Thing 1.)  Get the data.  Find out how many cars are registered on Harbor Island, how many have off street parking available to them, and come up with a way to allow people on Harbor Island to have more than one guest visit them.  

Thing 2.)  Meet with the residents.   

The mayor broke the tie by voting No but only because she misunderstood the guest parking being proposed and no one corrected her.   

Anyway, last night was Thing 2 -  meet with the residents.  The meeting was held at the 360 with about 50 residents.  Representing the village were the manager, police chief Bob Daniels, Rodney Carrero, director of public works, Maurice Murray of code enforcement and Lt. McCready of the NBV PD.   

And the first question that came up was Thing 1.  What is the data?  How many cars?  How many spaces?   And the village answer was a resounding "I dunno."   Nobody had done the first thing they were asked.    

At the point the meeting should have been adjourned until they got the data.   But it wasn't.   

Instead, it was presented as a "listening" meeting.  The administration wanted to brainstorm with residents and have an "open" discussion.  The residents offered ideas - 


  • Why not a combination of parking decals and metered parking?  That would allow guest parking but would not be feasible for residents every day.   The idea was noted. 
  • How will the police, staffed at three over night and two on weekends, enforce the program?   They didn't enforce the old program.  Chief Daniels said they would.   
  • Could the village open up the parking lot where city hall used to be?  No answer.   
  • Could the village consider a bond issue to build parking?  Noted but the village claims to be broke (we are.  The police chief spent all our reserves on losing lawsuits.)  
I was impressed with quality of the resident's questions including from several who took the initiative to count parking spaces, something the village did not do.   

I remain unimpressed by our village administration.   Not only did they blow off the first thing they were asked to do - get the numbers but in the meeting, the responses were pretty condescending.    

The topic then moved to putting in speed plates, like the ones on Pine Tree Drive in the Beach.  These present a problem because they would eliminate 4 to 6 parking spaces per plate.   The residents wanted to know who brought up the idea to the commission and the manager didn't answer.   It was Jorge Gonzalez and Eddie Lim, the ones who live on Harbor Island, who put that through.  

So here's where we are at.  No data.  No counts.  No real plan.  No one owning the problem.   It's not just Harbor Island that's getting screwed, it's just more obvious there.  

In a final note, Commissioner Gonzalez was there and the Mayor rolled in about 7:30 PM.   Eddie Lim, the commissioner from Harbor Island did not make it to the first community meeting held on Harbor Island in his 3.5 year tenure.   

Now do you see why you have to show up at the commission meetings?  

Prediction.  Come March 11, the village still won't have the stats, the item will be at the end of the agenda, heard around midnight, some Harbor Island residents will show up.  Nothing will get done. 

Still, as the mayor will tell you, we have to think POSITIVELY, dammit.  

Kevin Vericker
February 27, 2014


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