By JOHN T. WARD
Expected: The ire of affected store owners.
Unexpected: Democratic Councilman Ed Zipprich joining his frequent sparring partner, Republican Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, in opposing the introduction of a measure to enable the change.
“I’m really infuriated by this pay station business,” David Prown, of Prown’s Home Improvements, told the council. “My experience tells me this is a done deal.”
The amendment, scheduled for an adoption vote on March 11, would authorize the town to charge for parking along the stretch of Monmouth Street west of Maple Avenue and on portions of Bridge Avenue, where there are now two-hour limits.
Prown and Monmouth Meats owner Stew Goldstein pressed the council to instead enforce the current two-hour parking limit in the area, which they said is routinely violated.
“Obviously, there was some sort of executive decision made to just stop enforcement,” said Prown. “I presume you’re doing this for financial reasons. Well, fish where there’s fish. Enforce.”
“You talk about a hip town,” said Goldstein. “Well, yeah, but you’ve got to have butchers, screen repair, pet food stores.”
Forcing customers to run to a kiosk before stopping in for a pound of ground beef “is just like another nail in the coffin for the small guy,” he said.
Kate Triggiano of Leighton Avenue also weighed in against the expansion.
“These are not businesses you want to pay a meter to shop in,” she said, citing a bagel shop, a pet food store and others. “My own mom asked me, ‘why would I want to pay to park to pick up a bagel?'”