Wi­dener Univer­sity cor­rects record on city park­ing wars

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - OPINION - Gre­gory C. Pot­ter, As­so­ci­ate Vice Pres­i­dent, Univer­sity Re­la­tions, Wi­dener Univer­sity

To the Times:

The Jan. 11 ed­i­to­rial “Park­ing wars pits Chester vs. Wi­dener” con­tained sig­nif­i­cant fac­tual er­rors from a city spokesman, who ig­nored the univer­sity’s ef­forts to com­mu­ni­cate with Chester about its pro­posed park­ing plan in ad­vance of the univer­sity’s de­ci­sion to pur­sue lit­i­ga­tion.

Wi­dener took part in quar­terly meet­ings with city of­fi­cials for three years, where the idea of park­ing me­ters was never raised. Once Wi­dener be­came aware of the city’s park­ing plan – in De­cem­ber 2018 – the univer­sity, through its coun­sel, im­me­di­ately met with the city so­lic­i­tor and pre­sented a very rea­son­able and fi­nan­cially at­trac­tive al­ter­na­tive. The pro­posed guar­an­teed an­nual amount over 12 years would have funded the pur­chase of cam­pus-area park­ing per­mits for stu­dents, staff, and fac­ulty. The city quickly re­jected the idea with­out ex­pla­na­tion.

It was only af­ter these at­tempts to re­solve the dis­agree­ment am­i­ca­bly that Wi­dener Univer­sity elected to in­volve the courts. We ap­pre­ci­ated the judge’s de­ci­sion this week to tem­po­rar­ily halt the city’s park­ing plan and we re­main open to fur­ther dis­cus­sions with city of­fi­cials about the fu­ture of park­ing around Wi­dener.

Wi­dener is proud to be a long­stand­ing mem­ber of the Chester busi­ness com­mu­nity and has worked con­struc­tively with the city for many years. We look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing that tra­di­tion.

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