If anyone puts money in a parking meter, it’s stealing from Keene taxpayers?

At least least that’s the jist of what I think ol’ Fred Parsells is saying in this Letter to the Editor published by the Keene Sentinel on the 14th:

Since my earliest years, I have always been of the belief that the English folklore tale of Robin Hood was about a man and his band of merry men who stole from the rich and gave to the poor.

Fast forward 60-plus years and now I, and those of us who live and pay taxes in Keene, are confronted with a variation on the theme in that a modern day group of individuals, who have adopted the name Robin Hood(ers), are in my opinion stealing from the people of Keene, of which the overwhelming majority are surely far from rich.

Ward 2 City Council candidate James Cleaveland has taken public credit for creating this band of individuals who I believe are in effect stealing from far-from-rich Keene taxpayers in the form of increasing their individual property tax burden.

As many of you know, the City of Keene collects thousands of dollars from the nickels, dimes and quarters that motorists, who park their respective vehicles downtown, insert into parking meters. That money, coupled with fines from those whose meters expired, goes into a budgetary parking fund line item, much of which is ultimately used to offset the cost of snow removal, maintenance associated with the downtown and parking garage facilities, all of which help to sustain our vibrant and successful downtown.

I fully believe that it is in Keene’s and the region’s best interest to have such an attractive and thriving downtown, but by virtue of Mr. Cleaveland’s actions and those of his group, many thousands of dollars, of what I refer to as user fees, are not going into the aforementioned parking fund. The end result is that Keene property taxes will be raised accordingly in order to balance the loss of revenue.

If I lived in any community other than Keene and was saved from a parking ticket because someone put a nickel in my expired meter, I would likely be happy because I just saved $5, and it would not be my taxes going up at the end of the year because of the reduced revenue. However, I do live in Keene and surely my taxes, like yours, are already high enough.

It is clear to me that the city will continue to remove snow and maintain the downtown, in addition to building a new parking garage in the future, regardless of how much money was or was not collected through meter usage and fines. So, if you live in Keene and Mr. Cleaveland or one of his group of so-called Robin Hooders saved you $5 by putting a nickel into your meter, you might want to consider my words to whether or not he and they really saved you any money or did he and they, in the long run, steal from you.

Frederick B. Parsells
11 McKinley St.
Keene

Do your part for the community and get parking tickets! Thank you for saving Keene property taxes from going up any further!

Did you know that parking meter fees and fines currently cost about an average of $30 per year per Keene resident? If we got rid of enforcing meters and giving out tickets, the average property tax increase to taxpayers would be less than $15. Which amount would you rather pay?

Though I think Fred might have an ulterior motive to keeping the revenue flowing into City coffers. His take home pay according to public records could be up to around $8000 a month, between at his current job as a City of Keene Housing Inspector and $56,609.52 he brings in from a police pension.

 

fred2

Source: http://www.ci.keene.nh.us/sites/default/files/Keene%20FY14%20Proposed%20Operating%20Budget.pdf

 

fred1

 Source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/misc?url=/static/pension-2012.htm

 

I really can’t blame Fred, I wouldn’t wanna lose that kinda income either!

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  • davidinkeene

    this should be in the sentinel,as a reply

  • David Shields

    How is it different than if everyone was able to pay their parking meter on time without anyone’s help?

    • Ian Battles

      In my city, they just doubled the price of parking.

      $0.25 used to get you 30 minutes, now you get 15.

    • Guest

      Fred Parsells wrote: “Since my earliest years, I have always been of the belief that the English folklore tale of Robin Hood was about a man and his band of merry men who stole from the rich and gave to the poor.”

      Fred gets the true story Robin Hood totally wrong, He must have learned the story in government schools.

    • Guest

      If Fred Parsells wants lower property taxes, he should vote for Darryl Perry and send him a campaign contribution.

  • anon

    Parking enforcement in which it is self funding is by definition perverse. In many cities, as compliance with parking regulations goes up, so do the fines. The city employees are not fired and the fines are not lessened to offset the reduced revenue as one might expect in a “free market”.

  • Michael Theisen

    It’s not my fault I have to raise your property taxes, it’s those Robin Hood guy’s fault.

    Free Keene activist will now be the scape goat for all new “Revenue Enhancers”

  • Volun Freeman

    His premise is faulty in thinking that the people calling themselves the state are the only ones who can clean and maintain the roads. Except in self defense, there is NEVER any justification for theft or aggression.

  • Kevin Lee Reno

    Yes, yes- and ‘The beatings will continue until morale improves’

  • http://willonrails.com/ Will May

    I looked through the Keene budget documents to get a better feel for the numbers here.

    Parking fines bring in about $250,000 per year. Which sounds like a lot, until you realize that the city has an operating budget of $35 million.

    So parking fines make up less than 1% of city revenue.
    And to replace all parking fines with property taxes? You’d have to raise the property tax a whopping 14 cents. (Right now it’s $32.72.)

    And this is assuming that the Robin Hoods prevent all fines, which is obviously not true.

    • Ian Battles

      Hey, hey hey! Don’t come in here with your facts and logic!

  • MaineShark

    Last I heard, Robin Hood didn’t steal from the rich – he stole from the tax collectors and those aristocrats and government employees who received the loot that the tax collectors had taken from the poor.

  • davidinkeene

    omg if his wifes name is Karen shes also getting a tax payer funded pension too…between the 2 of them its headed toward 100,000 a year of taxpayer funded do nothing money http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/misc?url=/static/pension-2012.htm&appSession=701279760611265 fred should just shut up..

  • Snowdog

    Heh, this is almost comical, if it wasn’t so serious. “These Robin Hooders are going to force us to steal more money from you. So when we threaten to take away your house unless you pay up, you can blame it on them.”