Paid parking is madness
To those members of the local government who care about the economic future of Cooperstown and the maintenance of its character:
Has Town Hall gone mad here?! Do you not realize that you are cutting off your noses to bring in village income? Do you not care about your businesses — the ones that have been struggling to stay open during these hard economic times?! What new businesses in their right minds would want to move into an area where parking is a LUXURY??
Is there someone in charge who thinks he/she is in the big city and wants to transform a charming village into a cold metropolis? Madness!!
As a regular visitor to Cooperstown over the course of many years and one who had seriously considered moving here and who has always been able to enjoy a stroll up and down the main streets while looking in shops and visiting the museum, I was appalled today, on my first visit since instituted, to find that I must pay a MINIMUM of $2 to park on the street — ditto for the public parking lots, which I am doubly appalled to see, as the intent of most PUBLIC lots is to serve the PUBLIC and get cars off the main thoroughfares. Since I had packages too heavy and large to carry any distance, I had no choice but to pay the fee. But let me assure you, this will be the last time I will come to the main part of the village during my current four day stay. Your businesses will not be the only losers, as you will be realizing less sales tax as well as building visitor animosity.
I, too, live in a small town that swells by 50,000 to 60,000 in summer (East Hampton, NY), but we do not charge for any parking other than in special long term parking lots. And this is true in the rest of the “Hamptons,” as well. Instead, time limits are strictly enforced and revenue is gained by ticketing overtime stays. This is much more egalitarian, as locals and visitors can still freely and FOR FREE do their errands while the town makes extra revenue from those who don’t abide by the rules and from more sales tax being paid because people are actually encouraged to shop rather than being deterred.
Instead of the expense of installing all that new equipment and endless rewritten signs, PLUS needing crews to monitor the payment vouchers, my village/town adds students for the summer to check the expiration times on the FREE parking tickets (the public lots have an entrance ticket dispenser with a time stamp) or the chalk marks put on the tires of cars parked on our streets that indicate when the car parked.
Perhaps your new exorbitant charges don’t effect those who have never been here before and probably won’t come again, but it does effect how I view this town (unfriendly), and how much income the village center will receive as a result of my stay here.
I strongly urge you all to reconsider this ill-chosen change of policy and become the visitor-friendly place you once were. COVER THE MONEY MACHINES!
(And while you’re at it, BRING BACK THE NOON SIREN!)
Carla Caccamise Ash
East Hampton, NY
Paid parking frustrates frequent visitor
I have been a regular customer at Willis Monie Bookstore for the last 15 years and have visited Cooperstown at least 150 times during that time period; I visit about once a month, even during the winter. When I come to Cooperstown , I often visit other stores to purchase art, have lunch, etc.
Today, I had my first encounter with your new parking system, and it was most unsatisfactory. First, I had no idea whatsoever that I was supposed to pay to park. I parked between the bookstore and the stop light on the corner, and there was no indication whatsoever that there was a meter-of-sorts about six parking spaces away. I only learned about it when I was in the bookshop and customers inside were complaining about the meter not working.
So, I then went to the meter only to find six people hovering around it trying to figure out how it worked. I was told by them that it was “eating credit cards” and not accepting quarters! Nonetheless, I waited for “my turn” to try to pay. After inserting the same eight quarters approximately 50 times (i.e., sometimes the machine took them, sometimes it did not), I did get my dashboard ticket, good for one hour.
I then went back inside the store only to be told that a police officer was then putting a sign on the meter saying that it was “Out of Order” and that I didn’t have to put the $2 in after all!
Needless to say, this whole experience was very frustrating. I spent less in the bookstore than usual, because I wanted to be sure to be back to my car within an hour. I did not visit any other stores or restaurants today. I was told that this meter system will be in effect between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and I certainly will think twice before returning before Labor Day.
Taking gambling money is wrong
I watched with some dismay the presentation of the $10,000 from the Oneida Nation to the Cooperstown Central School, May 16, on Channel 2 News. It struck me as a contradiction in values for the students. This money, as I understand it, comes primarily from gambling at the casino, the sale of tax-free cigarettes and the sale of liquor. We warn the students against drinking, which is illegal under age 21. We consider gambling, as in pools during March Madness, a punishable offense. We teach the unhealthy results of using tobacco. Yet we broadcast with great joy the receipt of money from these sources.
What we have said to these young people is that continuing to use the name Redskins is wrong and it was replaced. Whether this made any sense is not the issue. The issue is how to explain to them that money makes it okay to overlook the values the school purposes to teach. I know that money is tight and that this gift looks like a solution to uniform costs, but is it the right answer?