Some sanity in Olympia afterall

May 26th, 2010 by Ken

Plans to eliminate all free parking in downtown Olympia are on hold, as the Olympia City Council held a minor revolt and voted to send the issue back to a city committee for further study.

The city had planned to implement new parking plans next week, which would have eliminated the 90-minute free parking areas and replaced them with metered dollar an hour parking.

But, on a 4-3 vote, the council ignored City Manager Steve Hall and Mayor Doug Mah and sent the issue back to the general government committee for more study.

Voting to postpone the free parking elimination were  Craig Ottavelli, the chair of the general government committee, Karen Rogers, Jeannine Roe and Rhenda Strub.  Mayor Mah joined with Stephen Buxbaum and Steve Langer in wanting to go ahead and start charging for all parking.

Langer had just been appointed to the council, minutes earlier,  to fill Joe Hyers vacant position.  He joined in the effort to gouge downtown customers, perhaps an early indication of just what he thinks about business.

The city had spent $650,000 to install the new “Seattle type” parking stands and had expected to take in a windfall of money, far in excess of the cost of the meters.

But anger from shoppers and reservations expressed from downtown business owners was the catalyst which gave the council a sudden bout of sanity.

Posted in Business, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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