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