OP-ED — McDonald: So far, I only see one mayoral candidate listening to Kearny’s parking woes

To the Editor:

Since the meeting on Aug. 7 on the parking situation, I along with many people have been waiting to hear more from our elected officials regarding the concerns expressed not only at the meeting but also on the various Kearny forums on social media as well as in the story run by The Observer a week after the meeting.

Unless I missed it, we’ve heard nothing.

What is painfully obvious is that putting a parking sticker on our cars will not guarantee a parking spot. Yet we’re being asked to pay for a service that cannot be guaranteed. How about….No chance. If I pay for a service I expect it to be rendered.

Next, it looks like the town is getting ready to have its lottery for spaces in municipal lots. Another joke. Folks … it says on the applications spots aren’t guaranteed in those either because they “oversell” the lots. Furthermore, the hours one is allowed to park in the lots (10 p.m. to 7 a.m.) do no good for people who don’t work overnight shifts.

Here’s an idea … all of those commercial vehicles that are illegally parked on the streets … how about reserving those municipal lots for those vehicles?

I’ve also heard one of the mayoral candidates, while against a parking utility (Bravo by the way … No need for that at all) has also proposed having more enforcement officers working a shift from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Absolutely no good considering the fact that the proposed permitting program is supposedly to be in effect from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Are the new second shift offices supposed to catch all (or even a good number) of violators during the last hour of their shifts? Give me a break.

Finally … the lack of parking spots has a root cause that needs to be addressed. Thus far, only one candidate for mayor seems to have the courage to mention it or appear to be willing to investigate it. Simply put, there are many people living in Kearny illegally.

I am not referring to citizenship status. I’m referring to people living in illegal apartments and more people living in regular apartments than belong there according to zoning codes. You have 10 people living in an apartment built for five.

This is real.

It exists.

And it’s high time it is dealt with.

For the record, no one with compassion, including myself, wants to see people on the streets. But we have landlords who have blatantly broken laws for a very long time. Kearny simply doesn’t have the infrastructure for this many people. It doesn’t.

Hard truth. All of those “luxury” developments have added to the problem. Why? Because the owners are charging $250 to park on the premises. Seriously???? Who is going to pay that on top of the exorbitant rents? Of course the residents at those properties are going to park on the streets. I would, too.

Kearny is a mess. The quality of life here has gone downhill. Crime is up. The town is filthy. Have you seen the number of illegal U-turns made on Kearny Avenue alone? I’ve recorded several videos of these. They happen all day, every day.

It’s dangerous and people don’t care. Is it going to take someone getting seriously injured or worse for something to be done? Want to catch these folks? KPD sits an unmarked vehicle (or a couple) on Kearny Avenue between Wilson and Midland.

Wait five minutes.

I was raised in this town and have lived most of my life here. My children live here.

We must do better. Which of the three candidates for mayor has the most courage to seriously address these issues? Don’t film videos of playgrounds being refurbished or streets being repaved — the unannounced street closures demonstrate that plenty without vertical videos. Do something important, instead. Fix this!

We are waiting. And time is running out.

Sean McDonald
Kearny | First Ward

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Sean McDonald | Kearny