f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

March 14, 2008

parking and kvetching around city hall

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies,Schenectady Synecdoche — David Giacalone @ 2:29 pm

Parking Impertinence: Naturally, everyone around here (except for Prof. Yabut) is shocked: Schenectady city hall workers too lazy to walk a block to their free parking lot? Parking all day, despite the direct disapproval of Mayor Brian U. Stratton, in front of the very businesses His Honor is constantly boosting and trying to revive? And not feeding the meters at all, or staying all day and feeding them past the limit for each meter? Sadly, the answer to each question is “yes,” as you can see in this photo, and read about in this article from the Schenectady Daily Gazette (“Businesses want workers to use city lot: Jay Street spaces occupied all day,” by Kathleen Moore, March 14, 2008).

Corporation Counsel L. John Van Norden and City Clerk Carolyn Friello are among the offenders. Note that Friello quite frankly admits she’s just being lazy, while Chief City Lawyer Van Norden seems to be waffling and employing weasels words. According to the Gazette:

Van Norden said he, too, would park in the employee lot if there’s no other place to park.

“Maybe I’ll have to park in the lot. I’ll certainly do that if that’s what’s necessary,” he said. “There are some city staff that prefer to feed the meters. They don’t want to walk the block. But the mayor is very business-friendly and he’s made his preference clear.”

For more parking meter follies in Schenectady, see the f/k/a reprint of my Prairielaw.com article “Parking Meters 101” (June 2000), which talks of proper parking meter policy and enforcement and broader regulatory philosophy. I point out (contrary to the impression given by Corporation Counsel Van Norden), that it is not lawful in Schenectady (and probably in virtually all places with meters) to keep feeding a meter all day, past the meter’s stated time limit; the limit is there to allow for turnover in use of the spot. See, City of Schenectady Municipal Code Sec. 248-72, which says “It shall be unlawful for any person to deposit or cause to be deposited in a parking meter a coin for the purpose of increasing or extending the parking or standing time of any vehicle parked beyond the period herein prescribed.”

I can’t resist repeating here one of my very favorite Schenectady Law Enforcement Stories:

In October 1996, attorney Diane Betlejeski [now known as Surrogates Court law clerk Diane Erzinna] parked her Ford Contour one morning between her office and family court at a spot never marred by a meter. Less than two hours later, she returned to discover a meter installed next to her car and a ticket flapping on her windshield. When the parking bureau refused to drop the ticket, Betlejeski demanded a trial and won her case against over-zealous enforcement [with me at her side as potential witness — I saw this story unfold from my law office window — and moral support].

steady rain
a pickle
in the parking lot

……. by Tom Clausen

If you recall this blurb from August 2007 (scroll down to “Mayor in a Hurray”), you might surmise from the discussion of Brian Stratton’s parking peccadilloes that the Mayor might not have a lot of moral authority on the issue, or might not be taken seriously on this topic by his top staffers, who apparently like to take a parking perk or two wherever they can find one. (See The Unadulterated Schenectady website for the photo evidence, and the TU Local Politics Blog for further discussion.)

Discovery channel –
an older male vanquished
heads for the hills

just arrived —
their dog sniffs
our tires

…… by Tom ClausenUpstate Dim Sum (2003/II)

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