Certain Nashville residents say city officials are rushing through a plan to privatize parking so they can get more money out of people’s wallets and help cover their past mistakes.
Nashville resident David F. Roberts sent out a letter to thousands of his neighbors that bluntly said the plan will “screw us over” and “make our lives a lot more complicated and MORE EXPENSIVE!”
Roberts live in Nashville Metro Council member Freddie O’Connell’s district.
“Without taking feedback from residents, they’re getting ready to sign a 30-year contract privatizing parking meters and parking enforcement in our neighborhood,” Roberts wrote.
“According to Channel 5 News, the plan will take away free parking, raise prices, and give an unaccountable, for-profit company police-like powers to issue tickets and fines against Nashvillians. What do we get in return? A 20 percent increase in the price to park. A 100 percent increase in the cost of fines. Up to 5,000 spaces that will now charge for parking. And that’s just in the early years. With a 30-year contract, there’s no limit to how much this out-of-state company can squeeze out of us in higher costs.”
This plan to charge people to park in their own neighborhoods, Roberts went on to write, makes no sense.
“This long-term contract would pay for the amount Mayor Briley and our elected Councilmen overspent the budget THIS fiscal year. Think about that—we’ll have to pay new costs for one third of a century to make up for one year of bad choices by them. Under the new parking contract, Mayor Briley’s lack of responsibility is going to come right out of OUR paychecks. That’s not right,” Roberts wrote.
As the Nashville-based News Channel 5 reported, Briley intends “to award LAZ Parking a contract to privatize metered parking. It is a 30-year contract that would generate $300 million for the city.”
“The Mayor wants the contract approved by the end of June so that upfront payments from LAZ Parking of $17 million, in each of the first two years of the contract, can be applied to the city’s budget,” the station reported.
“If approved by the council, LAZ Parking hopes to have new meters in place as early as September.”
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Freddie O’Connell” by Freddie O’Connell. Photo “David Briley” by David Briley. Background Photo “Nashville City Hall” by euthman. CC BY-SA 2.0.