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Demands over parking fees hit a dead end

Mayor Rob Sawatzky says a petition opposing parking rates was not discussed by council because no new information was received. - Photo submitted
Mayor Rob Sawatzky says a petition opposing parking rates was not discussed by council because no new information was received.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Vernon politicians will not bow to public demands to reverse a parking fee hike.

Council received a 150-name petition Monday calling for parking rates not to be be increased from 50 cents to $1 an hour. But council didn't discuss the matter.

"There was no new information provided," said Mayor Rob Sawatzky when asked why council didn't act on the petition.

"When we considered the proposal during the budget deliberations, we considered all of the information at the time and we made a decision. If it was a thoughtful decision, it shouldn't be influenced by a petition."

Coun. Juliette Cunningham also didn't believe there was a need to reopen the matter.

"There was a lot of discussion during the budget process," she said.

"If people had been at the budget meeting, they would have seen how we agonized over that issue."

The city states the parking fee increase will provide much-needed revenue, but a number of merchants, including the Downtown Vernon Association, are concerned higher rates will drive customers away.

The 150-name petition was organized by Jeff Wuolle, owner of the Cracked Pot Coffee Emporium.

"Customers have spoken. You need to listen to the people," said Wuolle in a note to council.

 

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