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 O’Reilly will ask that the rate increases be repealed.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 ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.