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Mailbag

April 15, 2007

Don't blame mayor in parking decision

I read with interest Richard Gillock's comments regarding a City Council decision not to grant Cannonade Circle resident-only parking along with the other streets, Venetian Drive and Damascus Circle ("Mayor's 'deaf ear' splits community," Mailbag, April 8.) The fact is that it was a 4-0 vote not to include Cannonade. An objective viewer of the April 3 council meeting would see the valid reason for the decision and that it was not a case of "once again the mayor turned a deaf ear to our community."

For the record, after hearing all public comments, the council entered into an extended discussion during which City Councilwoman Linda Dixon asked the city attorney about the legal ramifications of including Cannonade.

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City attorney Kimberly Hall-Barlow expressed the opinion that it would violate established city policies and thereby have the potential for legal problems. She recommended against it. Transportation Services Manager Peter Naghavi concurred, stating that Cannonade could be included at a later date if necessary.

Listen carefully to Mr. Naghavi's testimony when he patiently explains that traffic surveys do not reveal a need for resident-only parking on Cannonade and, therefore, it does not meet established city guidelines for permit parking at this time. Mr. Naghavi also stated that should a shift of parking occur as a result of the implementation of resident-only parking on Damascus Circle and Venetian Drive, the city can then easily extend the resident-only permit parking to include Cannonade, without even having to come back to the City Council to approve it.

Does anyone really believe that in the face of the testimony by Mr. Naghavi and Ms. Barlow that a responsible City Council would approve a policy that traffic surveys indicate is not needed; can easily, if needed, be implemented later within a reasonable time; sets a precedent for acting outside established policies; and thereby has a potential for causing legal problems?

The 4-0 vote by the council was the result of listening to the expert advice that it had to work with. Blaming the mayor for the decision by "turning a deaf ear" just doesn't fly. Not convinced? Check out the video of the April 3 meeting on the city's website.

Ila Johnson

Costa Mesa

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