Galveston City Council is scheduled to vote this week to adopt language for the ballot proposition requesting authorization to extend paid parking on Seawall Boulevard at a special election on May 9.

The concept of paying for parking on seawall is sensible. Anyone who can afford to pay for a vehicle, insurance, taxes and fuel should certainly be able to afford to pay to help maintain the infrastructure that vehicle uses.

However, the proposed ballot language perpetuates the inflexibility of fixed rates. The city council wants us to extend the period an additional 10 years at fixed maximum rates. The proposed rates have no economic justification other than that they are higher than the current rates.

If this were a logical way of setting rates why doesn’t city council set our water, sewer and trash rates for 10 years at an arbitrarily low amount?

Parking on the seawall is regulated by the Texas General Land Office through the city’s beach access plan. City council should replace the proposed ballot language regarding fixed rates with a reference to the rates in the beach access plan. That way the city can adjust the rates based on demand within the 10-year period.

Paul Schnitger



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