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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Council OKs parking authority

Posted to the Phoenix Files for your comments and question:

By G.E. Lawrence

Special to The Phoenix

PHOENIXVILLE — Following a twice-scheduled public hearing, Council voted 5-3 Monday evening to establish a new Borough Parking Authority.

In a roll call vote, Mike Handwerk (D-Middle), Mike Speck (D-East), David Gill (D-West), Carlos Ciruelos (D-East), and Council President Henry Wagner (D-Middle) voted “yes,” with Kendrick Buckwalter (R-West), Jeff Senley (R-North) and Richard Mark Kirkner (D-North) voting “no.”

The opposition was centered on alternative strategies, the establishment of a “Parking Committee” and a Borough “Parking Department,” without recourse to a separate governing body.

“The debate over semantics, whether we have a ‘parking problem’ or a ‘parking inconvenience’ is irrelevant,” said Kirkner. “The issue is how we fix it.” He considered an Authority’s lack of accountability, its costs and Council’s loss of control over parking matters sufficient argu

ments to kill the proposal. “We’ve taken on a significant expense in a bad economy,” he concluded.

Buckwalter looked to the examples of other communities with internal parking departments to underline the point that revenues from parking meters, fees and fines, some substantial, would not flow back to the Borough’s General Fund but to the Authority. He cited also a memorandum to Council of April 5, 2007, from former Borough manager Anthony DiGirolomo making a case for a department rather than an Authority.

Senley, in agreement with Kirkner on the establishment in an Authority of another layer of government, focused on anticipated Authority start-up costs, costs that had neither been budgeted, nor indeed requested.

Acting Borough Manager Brian Watson said that if managed internally, parking matters would be assigned to the Codes Department, and that “Codes is understaffed as it is.” What time was devoted to new issues “we’d be losing out on codes enforcement,” he said.

“The long and short of it is,” said Ciruelos, “that none of us is expert on these issues. We [Council members] have a lot on our plate, to keep the economic engine running. The best way to take care of such an issue is to grant trust in a group… and say, ‘we trust you to make [solutions] happen.”

Council’s resolution enacted both an enabling ordinance and articles of incorporation for the Authority. The articles establish a five-member Board of Directors that includes Adam Deveney, Phoenixville; James Lolli, Phoenixville; David Friday, Phoenixville; Jeff Abbot, Phoenixville; and Conner Cummins, Chester Springs.

In other business:

Mark Connolly, president of the Phoenixville Iron Canal and Trails Association, presented Council with copies of the 2005 master plan for the Schuylkill River Trail, to re-engage Council in discussions on completion of segments of the trail through the Borough.

The Parks, Property and Recreation Committee voted unanimously to recommend that Council approve the name “Veterans Memorial Park,” suggested by mayor Leo Scoda, for the North Side park in development commonly known as Melchiorre Park.

A proposal from High Street resident Kurt Kaminsky for the installation of a residential wind turbine generating electricity for his own use was sent to the Planning Commission for its review and recommendation.


Blogger Jeff Senley said...


Once again, a good brief summation of the meeting events.

But, uh, do you see what us bloggers said when we indicated that disabling anonymous postings would cause reduced participation?

Since that feature was enabled, there is considerably less activity here.

May 1, 2008 11:08 AM  
Blogger barry cassidy said...

I am not so sure that the anonymous posts were helpful. Just a bunch of people afraid to sign their name and say vicious things. after a while that stuff gets old from my standpoint. i suggest people assume a "nom de plume" to express their wrath. It does not seem too hard to get a blogger id. I did it…and many anonymous posters question my intelligence everyday…so it must be easy!

Someday all of you out there should try to introduce change whether positive or negative and experience the stuff I experience…I try to have thick skin toward it all but some people, like those who harassed my child on line, need to get a life. Being able to savage people just because you are anonymous is nonsense. This feature would not have had to been disabled if people would have just entered constructive dialog. There is a reason for this action…calling john messina “rug man” how does that help anything…this is counterproductive. I always thought that savaging me is acceptable if you are willing to take the heat after your post…i can hang and bang with the best of them…but others are just civilians and do not need to have their families read that crap.

what i like is the "Lolita" characters that have popped up on this site. Delores Haze and Humbert Humbert are the forerunners for the new millennium of blogging. Think of all the characters out there. I have been thinking of becoming vincent vega.

May 2, 2008 7:11 AM  

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