By JOHN T. WARD
After the Red Bank borough council passed a resolution last month authorizing the purchase of pay stations for parking along Monmouth Street and Bridge Avenue, redbankgreen asked: Why? Parking is free there.
No ordinance amendment had ever been passed or even introduced allowing the town to charge for parking outside the central business district. There had been no public debate on whether it should even happen.
That’s all coming, says business Administrator Stanley Sickels.
So why spend $135,308 for 13 kiosks that haven’t been authorized?
“Because the meters take longer to get” than formal approval of a law change, Sickels told redbankgreen Wednesday night.
And what if the ordinance to expand the paid-parking zone west to the train station district fails for some reason, such as public opposition?
“I wouldn’t have ordered the meters if I thought the ordinance was going to get shot down,” Sickels said.
Expanding the paid-parking zone entails a process of the town advertising an ordinance amendment and giving the public at least two chances to comment on before it can be put up for an adoption vote.
A resolution, however, does not, and the one authorizing the kiosk purchase appeared on the January 28 agenda with no advance notice and no public hearing.
Sickels said the vote to buy the kiosks was an indication that the council will also OK the paid-parking expansion. But opponents will get a chance to fight it when the expected ordinance comes up, if not before.
No date for an introduction has been given.