No meters on weekends
As a local, downtown business, struggling to pay overhead and keep the doors open, the parking meter question seems senseless to me.
The mayor, police chief and meter maids in no way depend on tourism for their income. The police chief and his staff do just fine ticketing locals, the mayor does not run a storefront and the meter maids are just trying to keep their jobs.
However, businesses do depend on tourism to ice their cake. On numerous occasions, I’ve had to deal with distraught visitors who have fed the meters and ended up with a ticket, anyway. No one from the police department or mayor’s office is available on weekends to field questions and complaints. The meter maids vanish.
With Travel Berkeley Springs spending $30,000 a year on advertising to lure visitors here, the town then convinces them through parking tickets, that their business is not important enough for the town to suspend parking meters for the weekend. That’s a pretty confusing message. “Come here but you’re not really welcome.”
The recent letter from the couple from Aberdeen, Md. proved that.
I suggest that the town suspend parking meters on the weekend indefinitely, eventually eliminating them. The town nets $15,000 a year on parking meters. It does $50,000 in bad public relations and hard feelings. Do the math!
Mayor, support your downtown businesses. Chief Pearrell, suspend ticketing on weekends. Show the local businesses you have their best interest in mind. That’s your job! You are a civil servant, remember.