Open letter to council
The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to the city council.
To the Alameda City Council:
On March 3, I received a $45 parking ticket in a parking lot in the Park Street Business District. I paid the ticket under protest. I feel as a longtime Alameda resident that it is time to speak out.
Clearly the city is unclear on the concept of supporting local businesses. The big-box stores at South Shore have unlimited free parking. The Park Street merchants, on the other hand, have aggressive meter people ruining the shopping experience. This is not a level playing field and the city is to blame.
Normal people would naturally avoid such an environment and shop where they can do so at leisure with the pressure of worrying about their parking meters expiring.
City governments that attempt to fund themselves by extorting onerous, excessive, unfair and draconian fines from their electorate will find themselves un-elected. This city must put the best interests of the community front and center in every discussion and act accordingly. Discouraging shoppers on Park Street only benefits the big-box shareholders, not the people of Alameda.
The city government owes it to its residents to supports the local merchants and let the big boxes know that they will not get an unfair advantage in Alameda.