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Back You are here: Home Opinion Opinion Section Editorials Editorial: Town Refuses Parking Waiver Request

Editorial: Town Refuses Parking Waiver Request

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

The Town of Carolina Beach should have automatically waived parking enforcement and parking fees for the Michael McGowan Cystic Fibrosis Fundraiser.
Instead, they said if they did it for that event they would have to do it for everyone holding a fundraiser. (See report on page 1-A "Carolina Beach Refuses Waiver Of Parking Fees For Local Fundraiser")
Several Council members said it would set a precedent and then everyone would come asking for parking fees to be waived and it would be too hard ot manage.
That would be a problem if the issue concerned private companies coming in requesting such waivers but that's not the issue.
Council member Sarah Friede thinks it would be too much trouble for Town staff to "dig" into an event to make a determination. Newsflash: We live in a small Town. If you were not aware of fundraising efforts in the name of the late Michael McGowan for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation then as a Council member, you need to get out more.
It's been all over Facebook, in the Island Gazette and I'm sure in many other media publications.
It's appalling that Council would set there and say, "We don't want to set a precedent" when they set precedents all the time. It's called being an elected leader. The Council could have voted Tuesday night to waive what would likely equate to under $200 to accommodate parking for the boat cruise fundraiser.
The ironic thing is, had this event been set on November 1st, parking would be free anyway since parking is free from November 1st to April 1st.
The Council should revisit this issue and consider establishing some basic policies to address parking waivers for such events.
If this Town is so cheap that a couple of hundred dollars is going to make or break the bank, then fine, at least we're aware of that fact.
Councilman Steve Shuttleworth said when events such as Wing Fling or the Got-Em-On Live Bait Club fishing tournament occupy public parking areas the Town doesn't lose the revenue because people park elsewhere and pay for parking.
Yes, that does equate to lost revenue because you have fewer parking spaces in the vicinity generating revenue. Those events, rather than cars, are occupying parking spaces.