Monday, January 9, 2012

E-mail to the City Commission and Staff: Parking Meters at Beach - City Thievery?

I have out-of-town guests in town this week and we made a trip to the beach on both Saturday and Sunday.  It was the first time that I had been to the beach, by car, for any length of time so it required that we use the parking meter system.  Beyond the long lines and the grumbling by patrons about the confusing user-interface, I was appalled that the city is apparently flagrantly using a bait-and switch tactic as it relates to parking rates at the beach.  The advertised rate is $2 per hour but it is impossible to only indicate that you want to stay one hour and pay two dollars to do so.  No, everyone is only given the option of two hours at $4.  This is LYING!  There is not even a sign, which would go a distance to solve the problem, saying that there is a two hour minimum.

It is my understanding that this is not news to the former City Commission, as it was discussed during the 2011 budget considerations.  Furthermore, I understand that the former City Manager was aware of the situation, but apparently did nothing to address the matter - apparently satisfied that the City would automatically collect 2X the minimum rate every time someone bought a ticket.

It is important that our public institutions set a proper example.  For many, this could be their first and only exposure to the organ known as the City of Lake Worth.  What sort of impression does this leave in the mind of the general public about how the City manages its affairs?  It is my sincere wish that this matter is addressed as soon as possible.

If someone could direct me to the meeting where this particular situation was discussed, I would appreciate it.  Thank you!

See attached pictures showing the user interface which declares that parking is $2 per hour and the display screen which shows $0 at first and then $4 next after hitting the "add time" button.  I would like to point out that there is not a corresponding "subtract time" button.