Voters better be watching closely, and I mean closely. The parking authority now wants a third increase in as many years. The sewer authority is looking for a second or third increase in as many years. The redevelopment is now involved in tax delinquent property acquisition. The school board needs more money.Why must people be so lazy as to not voice their oppostions at council, and when council doesn't listen, why must people stay at home and not vote these crooks out?How much longer will the people allow the rich (government and its administrative beneficiaries) get richer and the poor get poorer?
County mounty wrote: Monthly parking fee to go up by $5 in Scranton Share This Story: Yahoo! BuzzBY JEREMY G. BURTONSTAFF WRITERPublished: Monday, December 15, 2008 Updated: Monday, December 15, 2008 5:25 AM ESTMonthly rates at Scranton Parking Authority garages will climb another $5 beginning in 2009, the third increase in a year and a half.Is that a similar situation to the sewer authority where rates were increased 56% and now they're looking for more?Raising the standard charge to $90 and reserved spots to $100 will net the authority an extra $135,700 next year. Daily rates wont be affected.Do we really need the $135,700 when the city budgets $850,000 for meter maids? Shouldn't that line item be cut instead?But as the monthly cost mounts, fewer commuters feel like they are getting their moneys worth, and some might not be customers of the authority much longer.Sometimes it's the consumer who can get results with taking away their business. Certainly the city council and the SPA won't listen to the taxpayers.I wont pay more than $100, said Michelle Slowik, who drives from Gouldsboro and said she enjoys the convenience of the Medallion Garage on Adams Avenue. I dont know what Id do at that point, but Id have to consider other options.Karen Schimelfenig is already past that. She said when the notice of new rates arrived in the mail, she put her name on waiting lists elsewhere.Its awful, and we cant afford it, she said, adding, This is the limit.Thank Chris Doherty for that, and, how do you like the 3.4% wage tax on top? But you will have a nice new garage to park in when he finishes his latest project.The reason behind the hike is a $35 million loan taken out in 2007 to build a new garage and renovate others, authority Executive Director Robert Scopelliti said. It was the bond adviser, Stevens and Lee, that called for an increase.Is Stevens and Lee the firm that Corey O'Brien used to work for? And, don't they get commissions from handling the bonds? And, don't forget that Janet Evans was the only one who told council and the taxpayers that the full faith and credit of the city guaranteed bond payments.Im sure its not very welcome, Mr. Scopelliti said. But its something that has to be done to keep up with the cost of doing business.No, Bob. Cutting salaries and jobs of administrators like you works, too. And, if most of us can't afford to borrow to add to our homes, why should the city borrow to add the eighth parking garage?Its to keep up with the cost of inflation, he added. You have to have enough dollars to pay off this bond issue.That's what Janet Evans warned but council ignored protecting the taxpayers.The authority raised the monthly rate by $10 last January, and that was after a $5 hike just five months before. Mr. Scopellitis predecessor, Jim Wintermantel, blamed those increases on the bond and spiraling insurance costs.So why start another multi million dollar project? Why add increases to spiraling costs?The authoritys rates place it well below bigger cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia where the averages are more than $200 but far above cities of more similar size and socioeconomics. Garages in Allentown average $65, and in Bethlehem they are $50.No way do our wages compare with Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. We all know that the median income here is just above poverty level.In downtown Scranton, drivers have cheaper options at the Forum Garage or Adams Plaza, where the monthly rates are $70. Or they can park at the Mall at Steamtown, which is $100 in exchange for that much in mall gift certificates.Of course, I forgot about the Forum. That's DeNaples' garage where he might not have paid his fees from about 10 years ago and counting. Maybe if they collected those fees it could offset the increase.There are also a few open lots, like Penn Parking, which recently raised its monthly rate from $70 to $80, and Glazers lot, which charges $75.Some commuters at the Linden Street Garage said they could live with the higher rates for now, though they deplored the facilitys condition for what they pay. Ms. Slowik said parking at the garages still beats feeding the street meters.This sounds like N. Pocono and the new school. Take the money for new projects and then have nothing left to renovate perfectly good buildings.Mr. Scopelliti said he believes the citys facilities remain competitive with private ones, and he points to the value of building a new garage while also undertaking renovations.He points to what value? Finish the paragraph Jeremy.In 2008, the authority budgeted $1.9 million for monthly parking revenue. Its 2009 budget will be up for a vote Wednesday, and Mr. Scopelliti said there could be a small deficit until the new garage on North Washington Avenue is operational. Right now, crews are finishing the foundation and could begin erecting the $9 million facilitys steel frame in February.A small deficit until the new garage is finished? That deficit will remain. The income from the new garage will naturally go to pay the bond on that construction. Or, can't Scopelliti do the math?Mr. Scopelliti said the 2009 budget tentatively has no pay raises or bonuses, and perhaps a layoff.But does it have any other cuts, like the $850,000 for meter maids?Were tightening our belts, he said, but added that shouldnt compromise service.But it already has. Linden St. garage has been a wreck for years, but Chris Doherty would rather start a new project.When youre paying 90 bucks a month, you should be getting what you pay for, he said.How about when you're paying 3.4% wage tax, shouldn't the roads be paved so we could get our money's worth?Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org