Below is an open letter to the Mayor and Common Council of Kingston, NY. We believe the municipal parking lots in the City of Kingston need to remain free. If you agree with us, please add your voice.
Dear Mayor Noble and Members of Kingston’s Common Council,
We the undersigned Kingston residents, business owners, employees, property owners and voters are writing to voice our objection to the imminent changes to parking regulations, fees and penalties.
We were not properly informed when parking changes were first proposed, nor given an opportunity to respond to the changes. It wasn’t until December that several of us first learned about these changes. We subsequently learned that the Mayor held meetings with local business organizations, but we, the residents and employees of many businesses, were not notified of these meetings so that we might voice our opinions.
As stakeholders, it’s appropriate for us to participate in the development of intelligent and sensible solutions to a longstanding problem in Kingston.
We believe the plan is the wrong one, and that if the changes proceed, they will hinder growth, and otherwise negatively impact our city in numerous ways:
1. Poor and low-income employees of Kingston businesses will be unfairly burdened.
2. Apartment-dwellers who lack off-street parking will be unfairly taxed.
3. Businesses will lose patrons--and some employees, who can’t afford the parking.
4. Building owners will find it difficult to attract business and residential tenants.
5. Regular visitors will be deterred, and inclined to take their money elsewhere, which will motivate businesses to leave.
We feel the plan is short-sighted and does nothing to address the shortage of parking in Kingston.
We believe that the municipal lots must remain free. A free municipal lot is a courtesy to visitors that says, “Welcome to our city.” It encourages people to come and spend their money here. It provides a long-term option for residents and employees of uptown businesses who don’t have on-site parking.
We ask that plans to charge for the currently free lots, and to raise the meter rates and ticket penalties, be immediately cancelled. Barring that we ask for the issuance of a one-year moratorium to allow input from a greater number of the city's stakeholders before decisions are made.
We are gathering signatures and raising awareness. As stakeholders, and your constituents, we look forward to coming up with some more progressive solutions to this issue together.
Sari Botton, Uptown Kingston Resident, Business Owner Kingston Writers’ Studio Located on Fair Street in Uptown Kingston
Brian Macaluso, Uptown Kingston Resident, Business Owner Tech Smiths Located on North Front Street in Uptown Kingston
Jen Donovan, Kingston Resident, Business Owner LeShag Located on Fair Street in Uptown Kingston
Maria Philippis, Uptown Kingston Resident, Employer and Property Owner Boitson’s and Kovo Rotisserie Located on North Front Street in Uptown Kingston
Theresa Widmann, Uptown Kingston Property Owner and Business Owner Anahata Studio Located on North Front Street in Uptown Kingston
Tarah Gay, Employer and Business Owner Outdated Cafe Located on Wall Street in Uptown Kingston
Dan Stone, Uptown Kingston Resident, Employer, and Property Owner, Evolving Media Network Located on Wall Street
Steve Lieber, Uptown Kingston Resident
Cassandra Currie, Uptown Kingston Resident
Kevin Paulsen, Uptown Kingston Resident
Joe Concra, Uptown Kingston Resident, Building Owner, Artist, Executive Director of O+ Positive
Denise Orzo, Uptown Kingston Resident, Artist, Co-founder of O+ Positive
Eric Francis Coppolino, Longtime business owner and resident of uptown Kingston, Internationally published horoscope writer