I’m concerned that we are even having a conversation about redoing the parking meters in downtown Olympia again after all we’ve been through. We spent $700,000 or so on the new system a few years ago that admittedly no one is in love with but they work OK, and they are paid for. It makes no sense to get rid of those and buy new meters for another $600,000 or so and we don’t know that they will be liked any better.
We have much more pressing budget issues in Olympia than trying to make everyone happy with what kind of parking meters we have. The argument that we already have enough money in our parking budget to do the new meters doesn’t matter. Just move the money to another line item in the budget and take care of something that is really important. If it was up to me (it isn’t) and if I owned a business downtown (I don’t) then I would do away with pay parking altogether and let those downtown business owners compete with the malls that have unlimited free parking. Aren’t there any small business owners on the City Council?