Not Following Bellingham’s Example

Mayor Cary Bozeman has said from time to time that Bellingham offers a good example of what Bremerton would like to emulate when it comes to downtown waterfront transformation. So I find the following story illustrative of the spirit Bremerton has yet to capture.

Bellingham Herald political reporter Sam Taylor had a meeting in downtown there and knew he might be cutting it close to getting ticketed. When he got to his car, he found the ticket envelope and figured he’d have to pay his $10. (Ten dollars? First offense here is $25. Are parking spaces 2.5 times more valuable here?)

Instead he found this:

ticketchristmas.jpg

You see the message there? “Merry Christmas.”

This is especially painful for me, because one day not long before Christmas I parked in front of the Sun offices, figuring I’d have to leave within an hour or so. Whatever I was planning to attend fell through and I forgot where I was parked until it was time to leave several hours later. I got the expected envelope on my car with a $25 ticket for the first offense and a $32 ticket for doing it again within 30 days.

When I send in my $57 I’ll write “Merry Christmas Bremerton” on the check memo.

7 thoughts on “Not Following Bellingham’s Example

  1. Pretty classy but certainly not politically correct! I am tired of hearing Happy Holiday’s!

    I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and will have very Happy New Year! God Bless us all!

  2. Steven,

    Our downtown parking situation is atrocious.

    As a community member with two business interests in downtown, I feel that our parking situation needs to be changed drastically in order to promote economic development in our downtown as well as give us something new to focus on instead of “the parking problem”.

    As a former City Council candidate, I developed a strategy with the help of my fellow Downtown Bremerton Association members, customer feedback, and downtown employee feedback. Kitsap Transit even has some great ideas and resources to address the problem!

    In the first quarter of 2008, I will work to see if we can implement this strategy.

    My wife has received numerous tickets for parking in front of her business (she even pays $70 per month in parking but due to limited parking while the tunnel is being built, sometimes she does not have a space available) . The worst of it is when she comes in during the morning for a few minutes to drop off supplies and parks in front of the building, then heads off for a few hours to do business errands, and comes back in the afternoon and parks for another few minutes while she offloads her car.

    Then when she finishes off loading and is ready to hopefully park where she pays for parking, finds a ticket on her windshield because DP states she has been parked on the same street for 6 hours!

    DP would never issue a Merry Christmas ticket. Let’s hope we can make this change in 2008.

    Thanks!
    Carlos Jara

    ps…there is a silk screen business in downtown who sells T-shirts, and their most popular shirt references the parking problem. 🙂

  3. Business owners knew before they moved here…Bremerton has a parking problem….nothing new. It is surprising the employees haven’t been parking at a Park n Ride and bused in to work by now…something long overdo.

    Carlos…”…DP states she has been parked on the same street for 6 hours!…”
    All your wife has to do is tell the DP the hours she was not there. The DP couldn’t know if s/he hadn’t been by to check during that time and their records would reflect that fact.

    During your time as a candidate, walking around, talking to people and other business owners… can you venture a guess at the number of employees using the valuable parking spaces?

    Each one they take means one less for a shopper to use. I would guess downtown has – probably – more employees than shoppers.

    Steven… Why hasn’t the Kitsap Sun added roof parking for employees? What would such a project cost with/without an elevator to get the cars up there?

    Carlos is right about Transit… they have some great ideas and I’m looking forward to learning what you all come up with as possible parking solutions.

    Happy New year, 2008!
    Sharon O’Hara

  4. Sharon, just this year we got our roof fixed so that it doesn’t leak. I don’t think building parking up there is something the company is considering.

  5. I’m sorry, Steven…I wasn’t thinking.

    The building is also old enough that the foundation probably isn’t beefed up enough to hold the weight

    Also, due to the nature of your business, a bike probably wouldn’t get you where you need to be fast enough.

    Maybe between the KS, other business owners, including KT, a parking solution will be found sooner, rather than later.
    Sharon O’Hara

  6. This is one of the reasons why I work swing-shift. I absolutely hate having to deal with Bremerton during the day.

    What does that parking company do with all the money? Why on earth do we never see any improvements in the parking lots? Talk about greed!

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