Last night at the Common Council Legal Committee meeting, Alderman Priscilla Moore (Fifth Ward) asked about the residential parking plan that was proposed for the area around Columbia Memorial Hospital. Moore lives on McKinstry Place and wanted to know what had happened to the plan to relieve the parking problems caused for residents of the neighborhood by hospital workers taking their onstreet parking spaces.
Last year, a new local law was crafted--Local Law No. 1 for 2015--that would provide parking permits for residents. The law became a bone of contention for Mayor William Hallenbeck, who believed he had proposed the perfect solution, and Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward), who chaired the Legal Committee, which worked for six months to revise and perfect the plan. Last night, the question arose of what had happened to that law. Gossips thought the mayor had vetoed it, but it turns out that was not the case.
The Common Council voted to place the law on their desks on March 17, 2015. The action barely passed with 1,104 affirmative votes (1,015 are required for a simple majority). A law needs to wait on the aldermen's desks for at least seven calendar days (excluding Sunday) before it can be enacted, but this one waited for close to seven months--through April, May, June, July, and August--before it disappeared from the Council agenda. Thanks to city clerk Tracy Delaney, Gossips now knows what happened next. On November 9, 2015, Council president Don Moore advised Delaney: "In that the Mayor and the Common Council have not come to an agreement on the final form of a Residential Parking Permit Local Law, I am withdrawing the proposal from the agenda for this term of the Common Council." The law is still sitting on the aldermen's desks.
Last night, not certain of its current status, Council president Claudia DeStefano, who was chairing the Legal Committee meeting, suggested that it may be time to resurrect the law.
Register-Star reporter John Mason brought up a situation that could make solving the parking problem at the hospital even more challenging: the American Legion is selling its building on Fairview Avenue, along with the parking lot that CHM has been leasing to provide offstreet parking for its employees.
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