Did you know you could buy exclusive rights to your very own parking meter for $51/month? The Democrats have already called dibs on 35 of them, but I think some good spaces around town are still available! Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to have a few meters bagged outside of my building.
Democrats snap up prime parking
Saturday, August 9, 2008 3:17 AM
By Robert Vitale and Doug Caruso
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
The Democrats don’t believe in change, after all — at least, not if they have to dig it out of their pockets to feed Columbus parking meters.
Columbus public-service officials blocked off 35 meters this summer outside the Ohio Democratic Party’s Downtown headquarters, not as a courtesy to political allies but because a check for more than $7,000 bought the spaces through Election Day.
City officials said yesterday that Democrats didn’t get a special deal. The party paid 6 1/2 times what the meters usually bring in.
But they did acknowledge that selling off public parking for four months at a time is “unreasonably long.” Public Service Director Mark Kelsey plans to investigate, said Mary Carran Webster, the department’s assistant director.
Tina Rice, a self-described Democrat and party-headquarters neighbor, said she has grown increasingly irritated by the blocked-off meters on Fulton Street near Grant Avenue because no one else has been able to use them.
The meters have been covered since early July with orange bags labeled, “No Parking.” They’re used elsewhere in places such as construction zones and near valet-parking stands.
“If the city’s making money, I’m not so offended,” Rice said. “But I guess I didn’t realize you could turn a street into your own personal parking lot.”