Information on the Meter Matter!!!!
Thank you to a member of Citizen Advisory for Public Safety(CAPS) for sharing this information from the City Manager and thanks to the City Manager for finally sharing the city's perspective on the meter matter:
I hope you are anticipating an enjoyable weekend. Some of you have heard or read about the downtown parking meter incident. The information below may fill in some of the gaps.
Jon (City Manager)
Background from Police and Parking staff Earlier this week, a parking control officer was out working near 5th Ave. and Willamette. She was writing a ticket on an expired meter. Because it was raining, she was in her cart completing the ticket. A man, Benjamin Burns Bond, parked in an adjacent spot and put money in his meter. He then also plugged the expired meter after the ticket was already in progress and was angry when the parking officer placed the ticket on the vehicle. He followed the female parking officer for three blocks in his truck, intimidating and threatening her. She was afraid and took the unusual step of calling 9-1-1 and staying on the line because she feared for her safety. A witness reported seeing Mr. Bond red-faced and animated, yelling and gesturing towards her from his truck.
Two police officers were dispatched, per regular practice because there were two involved parties. However, a third police officer driving near the scene responded because of his proximity and because it is rare for parking control to ask for back up. Mr. Bond was handcuffed at the scene and placed into a patrol car without any resistance. At that point, he could have been taken to jail, but police offered him a citation if he would only leave the area and stop threatening the employee. Mr. Bonds then was allowed to go with the citation for Harassment and Obstructing a Government Agency. Police were not called to respond because Mr. Bond plugged meters. They were called because he was intimidating and threatening the employee."
(provided by a city leader)
"I would like to add a comment regarding the parking meters! I had to venture downtown last week, and parked in one of the parking meters that accept credit cards now. My complaint is that being a shorter person, I couldn't even see if there was any time left on the meter, and took the chance it was OK. HELLO, all of the citizens of Eugene are not 5' 8', that is what I figured you had to be to see the meter. The business I went to said they have had complaints regarding the height of them and most of the time the credit card function does not work. In regards to the gentleman who was trying to pay parking meters, I am deeply embarrassed that I tell people I live in Eugene! Whatever happen to going a good deed will be thanked by others? What goes around comes around!!"
(signed by a concern taxpaying citizen)
"Today’s paper quotes John Ruiz “It is wrong and intolerable for any city employee to be intimidated, threatened and prevented from doing his or her work on behalf of city of Eugene citizens.” I guess as nonemployees of the City we do not have the same rights when going down on the mall or pulling up to intersections and locking our car doors. I wish just once our elected officials would travel the city with small children for the day and experience the fear they have from strangers coming up to car windows with signs."
(signed by a parent, business person, and taxpayer)
I don’t always listen to Lars Larson (an afternoon AM radio talk show host), but sometimes when driving around in my car after lunch I find his program entertaining. Partially because it’s refreshing to learn what life outside of Liberal Lane (County) is all about. Mostly, his shows cover such topics as law abiding citizens being taken advantage of by ridiculous building permit issues, hard working people taking responsibility for their actions—rather than suing others for falling down, the common sense attached to purchasing health insurance (voluntarily) rather than arriving at the emergency room without coverage, respecting the duty of sworn police officers who do the jobs they are hired to—without the fear of public double and triple scrutiny, using common sense and the like.
Earlier this week I tuned in one day while driving around town and happened in on a discussion about parking meters. It reminded me of a story I’d heard reported some years ago about someone who had actually gotten in trouble for adding coins to the expired parking meter of someone else’s car--so that they wouldn’t get a ticket for parking past their allotted time. Then, as I listen further, I realized this story was not only about the same thing—but also a local one. “Ha”, I thought, “What are the chances of that happening in this day and age?” The economy (still) sucks, people are mean—not kind, etc. Then I blushed—as I realized that Lars was talking about downtown Eugene—our city which is in desperate need of “revitalization.” Reddening my face further was the realization that thousands of listeners (most of whom must certainly reside outside of Democrat-ruled Eugene) were listening to the same story. Then I heard the fine levied on this guy ($800) I about crapped. A whole bunch of questions come to mind including the following:
“Where is the logic? How does a twenty five cent meter deposit get one an $800 fine? Why penalize this guy at all? This goes completely beyond reason. Who is it in the parking meter department that’s training meter enforcers to fine good Samaritans for these actions? What message does this send? If we question cops for tasering citizens, why don’t we question meter maids for fining good guys? Many other questions come to mind, but the biggest one is
“Do you want people to come to downtown Eugene, or don’t you?”
The last one is a rhetorical question, but the absurdity is that it’s even being asked. The answer should be obvious—but it’s not. The city’s actions do not speak louder than words. In fact the actions are actually working in reverse of what the rhetoric says. We say we’re open for business, but in fact we do all we can to discourage it. I’m getting really frustrated by the trend displayed here. And you know what? There are a lot of others like me out there. “No’” like prairie dogs, we don’t stick our heads up really high—and we’re ridiculed for that—but we’ve learned that doing so is a good way to get it shot off! That’s a metaphor—on case you read anything more in to it.
Okay, so President O., who realized after the Christmas Day bombing attempt that his airport security service wasn’t quite up to snuff—it may be time for you too to call a press conference, admit Eugene’s downfall, weakness, mistake, and tell us all (conservative and liberal alike) what you plan to do to fix this mess. Just a suggestion, I’m sure you’ll do what’s right —instead of what you know will appeal only to the vocal liberals who voted you in to office.
And like the bumper stickers say: Honor Diversity (mine too!)
What’s next? Meter maids with tasers? At the rate we’re going, the ACLU will take away all the cops have, so maybe we should arm the meter maids!"
( A conservative, tax paying, and voting business owner(who is quite frustrated)
Eugene is seeking proposals for art to be placed on or around the new Delta Ponds bicycle/pedestrain bridge. About $60,000 of the $6.2 million project is reserved for art.
Proposals due: Jan. 7
Apply to: Central Services Purchasing
(provided by a questioning taxpayer about the timing of such expenditure and asks if the funds could have a better use at this time?
"We just had the Ladder Truck show up to support an ambulance at the methadone clinic.
When money is tight the logic/practice of sending vehicles with that GVW on routine drug user babysitting calls is rediculous.
Can they even spell efficient at city hall?
(signed by a business owner and taxpayer who questions these practices--maybe procedures need to be reviewed)