(8) comments Back to story

GW Cornelius

Not the same Norm I know.

George Croix

Count so far in the game:
Pappous - two balls, and a standing ovation from some crowd members
Anonymous Troll - two outs
Dog! Hot dog ovaah heeeyaaahhh......!!!

Steve Fouga

Yes, Norm Pappous should be running unopposed. He did everything as well as it could have been done in his first term. He will easily be re-elected.

This Council gets a bad rap because of entrenched voting blocs and a lack of consensus. But mainly the problem was inept leadership. Certainly the entire Council doesn't deserve to be painted with the same brush. In fact, the majority of the members (admittedly a slim majority) were earnest, well-meaning, and -- dare I say it -- effective.

Sometimes effective can mean exposing a bad idea for what it is, or simply standing on principle, like Norm did repeatedly.

Two balls, indeed...

GW Cornelius

Is this the same man that has alliance with GAIN and yet feels there is no conflict to be involved with a group of neighborhood Nazis that come before council. Makes you go WHAT!!

Jarvis Buckley

NP is a great council member. Will win reelection 10-1

Jarvis Buckley

Island Runner you are starting to get on an old mans nerves. Take your medicine.

Ted Wagner

While I don't live in his District, I would vote for Norman. He says what he means & means what he says. He's well-reasoned and accountable, often on these very boards defending his position.

There was an item I thought was a bit out of Norm's character, particularly given his financial expertise. Back in Jan or Feb, the first 5 or 6 months of SW Parking revenue were released, and were well below monthly projections, suggesting a shortfall. Norman supported a vote to hold off an any expense cuts until July, when a full year of revenue were available. However, it's no secret that financial projections are a vital tool for fiscal success, and forward-looking estimates are routinely done, on a repeating basis, to understand whether revenue & expenses are aligned (or when they may be, given the latest updates). And with 5-6 months of data already in-hand, the projections would be much more accurate, going forward, than when paid-parking was first conceptualized.

That vote to me was a clear signal that financial projections looked bleak, and the vote to defer until July was an opportunity to simply buy time. But, as a citizen who voted for paid parking and purchased an annual pass, the minimum I would have expected from the City is:

1) Clear accounting of expenses
2) Clear accounting of revenue (to date)
3) SW Amenities Plan (cost & timing estimates) to provide fountains, restrooms, showers, etc.
4) Lastly, a thorough Council discussion of the above points, to identify when revenue will be available, how much & when, in context of the envisioned improvements.

Perhaps cutting expenses back then was just not feasible or may not solve the problem. I don't know. But I do know that waiting 6 more months would not drastically change what was already apparent, given the fact that financial projections are an everyday practice to ensure fiscal success.

One question comes to mind: What obligation does the City have, if any, to re-pay folks for paid parking fees, but no amenities were ever provided?

Steve Fouga

First, I agree with nearly everything you said, and maybe everything.

Here's my view on Seawall parking: It's a great opportunity for the City to make money, and it MUST be exploited. I didn't live here at the time of the vote, but I would have voted for it, maybe even campaigned for it. My main problem with it is that it's far too cheap! It should be $25/day, not $8. Or if not 25, at least 15.

As a resident, I wouldn't mind a $100 annual fee -- that's how much I use the parking. Especially now that the annual fee also pays for Seawolf and beach parking. $25/yr is a bargain! Too much of a bargain!

If I were king, here's what I would do: Immediately raise Seawall parking rates to $3/hr, $25/day, on the south side of Seawall Blvd. I would build lots on the north side of Seawall and charge $2/hr, $15/day, and charge the same for street spaces on the north side. Annual passes would be $50/yr, and good for every parking spot on the Island, including the beaches, Seawolf, Seawall, the Harbor, and Downtown -- except for prohibited spots used by residents in their neighborhoods. All paved spots would be painted and numbered, including those used for residential parking. Parking laws would be strictly enforced by non-sworn Police Dept personnel.

If more parking were needed, I would build remote lots north of Broadway and operate buses to the beaches, Downtown, Moody Gardens, etc., as needed. I would not call them rubber-tired trolleys. If I found people would not pay the increased rates, I would lower them.

We could call it the King Jake Parking Plan.


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