EDITORIAL – There should be a lot of red faces over downtown parking rates

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

CITY HALL SHOULD BE thoroughly embarrassed about the screw-up over downtown parking rates.

As I mentioned earlier, an increase in rates came into effect Jan. 1 with no advance reminder from staff to City council or the public. Technically, there was no requirement for staff to do this, because the last time the rate increase was proposed, it was shelved until this year.

But, really, given it’s a controversial issue, why didn’t staff see fit to tell the new council about it weeks ago? That would have given the new bunch a chance to talk about it and decide if they felt different than the old council.

And what about the council itself? The rate increase made big news when it was first postponed. Both incumbents and newbies can’t say they weren’t aware of it. Any one of them could have raised it for reconsideration back in November or December.

One councillor in particular should have had it on his radar. When Mike O’Reilly was president of the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association, he urged the postponement of parking rate increases. His objections were largely responsible for the increases being delayed until Jan. 1 this year.

As a new councillor, one would have thought he’d be paying attention.

Truth is, nobody at the City was on the ball. The watchdog KCBIA was asleep, too.

Anyway, credit where credit is due — tomorrow, Coun. O’Reilly will ask that the rate increases be repealed. Better late than never.

So, I expect the rollback will go through. The parking kiosks will be reprogrammed back to the old rates. But if anyone down there had been on the stick, none of it would have been necessary.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (7453 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on EDITORIAL – There should be a lot of red faces over downtown parking rates

  1. Get rid of the kiosks period. Yesterday, I had a surgical appointment at RIH which could last from 2 to 3 hours. I was to arrive at 12.10. The RIH lot was full. So, I parked on 4th at a metered spot. i put in three toonies and learned that I had paid the maximum providing me 2 and 1/2 hours – not enough. In desperation, I parked way up on Pine street and walked the way, getting there just on time. My appointment finished in a timely way. So I stopped downtown, near my bank, and learned I had nine minutes left. Not enough. So, I attempted to increase my time, pushing 2 and adding a loonie. Then I got a message that I had overpaid. Confused, I pushed accept and got robbed of my loonie – with no added time. This is crazy.

  2. Council, or some on council were too busy drooling over the opportunity to try and borrow even more money to pay for the latest iteration of the PAC dream.

  3. If this is the only issue you figure has not been handled with due diligence then I am afraid but I think you sir, are kind of sleepy too, in my honest and humble opinion.

  4. Rates and reprogramming; do you know if that is something simple to do Mel?
    If memory serves me right, when the kiosks were installed, the “server” for this parking system was in France. It would be interesting to find out if that is still the case.

    It’s a long way around to ask the question, “Is the parking rate programming done here or in France at the server?”

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