Oh, I couldn’t pass up a headline like that….and in Beverly Hills of all places. Read the story here.
I read the article three times and I think I understand. Some local folks put forth an initiative to go on the upcoming ballot. The initiative mandates two hours of free parking in the city. This will cost the city millions and they need the money.
So the city is suing to get a judge to remove the initiative from the ballot because it feels that the initiative is contrary to some existing city ordinances, or whatever. They also know that if it makes it to the ballot, it will surly pass. So the city is suing the city clerk who accepted the petition and in fact did nothing wrong.
Maybe these folks should caucus with the wizards who write the signs in DC – see blog below.
What do I think? I think it’s a big mistake to set parking rates by a ballot of the people. Parking is a commodity just like coffee, sugar, corn, or oil. Its cost should be set by supply and demand, not the whim of an electorate who believes all parking should be free.
That having been said, it’s up to the city to sell the concept to the merchants and the residents. Parking fees pay for sidewalks, parking structures, parks, excellent street lighting, and help make the world safe for democracy. Hire one of those great PR firms that inhabit the high rises on Wilshire Boulevard and promote the movie stars that live in Beverly Hills and have it sell the people of BH on the idea that paying for parking is a good idea.
Get the one that sells us Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, or Brangelina. If you can make those folks likeable, you can certainly sell parking. I’ve just read that Lindsey believes that she is being denied a driver’s license because the paparazzi chasing her cause too much of a problem and is asking her lawyer to get a restraining order against them. (All this as she is released from Betty Ford.) If they can sell us that, they can sell pay parking in Beverly Hills
Think about it, a news release telling all about the cracks in the sidewalks that can’t be repaired without the parking money, or if the money went to the local hospital, showing a child with a tear in its eye saying that there was no bed available because the cheap folks in BH don’t want to pay for parking. Or maybe a few rumors started on TMZ about evil office workers taking ‘free’ parking spaces from grannies that are trying to get to their financial advisors or their hair salons on Rodeo Drive. The stories are endless.
But even if you don’t buy any of the “stuff” I wrote above, the headline is priceless.