Op-Ed — Spence: Parking permits and parking utility will accomplish absolutely nothing beneficial

To the Editor:

On Monday evening, Aug. 7, 2023, there was a special public meeting for the introduction of ordinances concerning establishing a parking utility, a residential permit parking program and amending Town Code concerning the parking of commercial vehicles.

The ordinance creating a parking utility has a lot of non-specific items that need further defining. This utility will take over all parking-related functions and the town would lose revenue from permits, from metered parking profits and would cause a loss for the town budget.

The Town of Kearny would be responsible for paying all the start-up costs to form the utility, including salaries of a supervisor and all other personnel including enforcement personnel, acquisition of office space, purchase of equipment (including license plate readers) and the issuance of permits.

This expense would be reimbursed from the profits from the utility.

The permits are expected to cost $15 for two years (proposed).

The $90,000 per year this might produce would not cover the anticipated expenses to maintain the utility, no less reimburse the town for startup costs. The expert who presented the program at the meeting is the Executive Director of the North Bergen Parking Authority making a salary of $200,000 per year.

It was stated the authority would purchase additional properties in town to use for parking lots. Really? Where will they get the money for that? Where is this property?

The ‘benefits’ of a parking utility?

Personally, I don’t see any!

A permit does not guarantee a parking spot on the street. There will be permit-enforcement personnel checking stickers and violations every night issuing violation tickets for $50 each (proposed) — additional expenses the residents certainly don’t need.

Temporary permits would be required for family or friends staying overnight, additional requirements the residents don’t need

When I married and moved to Kearny over 50 years ago, we lived on Davis Avenue between Quincy Avenue and King Street. For 10 years, whenever we went out at night, we would spend a lot of time searching for a parking spot when we returned home.

If anything, that situation is even worse now.

There was a study done several years ago by Neglia Engineering that determined there were too many cars in this town for the spaces available. Permits will not change that fact. It will only make life more stressful for many residents.

What is the real purpose of this proposal?

It’s certainly not to make life easier for residents.

Gloria Spence

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.