Free parking off gift list
If there’s a local issue that’s guaranteed to raise hackles, it’s parking. But there’ll be no freeparking prezzie for Palmy motorists.
On Friday, following a marathon session, council voted 9 – 6 against making an hour’s free parking available. It’s a move that will see the ‘‘notorious nine’’ banned from a central city cafe.
Controversy-courting James Pettingill at Tomato on George St has instructed his staff not to serve councillors who voted against freeing up the parking management regime, saying that he’s no longer prepared to ‘‘feed the mouths that bite me’’.
That will directly affect at least three councillors who frequent the cafe, though deputy mayor Duncan McCann, who voted for the freebie, says there are some Christmas goodies with free parking for Gold Card holders now from 9am – noon. Free parking on Saturday will be extended to 11am from February 18 when the Albert St market relocates to The Square end of Broadway. A ‘‘buy an hour, get one free’’ proposal has been referred for consultation.
Councillor Vaughan Dennison, now trespassed from Tomato, says the user-pays free parking measure would have cost $1.2 million, and would require an almost 2 per cent rates increase.