Residential parking meeting
After finally getting someone in the city government to listen to me enough to plan a meeting, at least over email, I posted a note on the door of my building letting people know what I was doing, and asking for support from people at the parking meeting, since we would need to show that more people than just me needed this. I got only 3 emails from people in my building. What was interesting was that some Mozart employee noticed the sign and let someone higher up at Mozart know about this. I had given up trying to enlist their help, so I hadn't thought to tell them. But I got a message on my machine basically saying that they wanted to help and maybe send a representative to the meeting. I was skeptical, but quite happy, since that should give us even more credit at the meeting. I still didn't haved the date of the meeting, but I wanted to talk to the guy who left the message. I couldn't make out his name so I just called. The people taking calls at Mozart acted like I was speaking another language, shuffling me back and forth between different unnamed employees, and saying things like "We would never have called you with a message like that." "Why would we help you do that?" "I don't know what you're talking about." So I picked up my answering machine and headed down to Mozart to get to the bottom of this. The woman behind the receptionist desk had a voice I recognized as the bitchiest person on my phone call. So I basically went off about how "some woman" had been a total bitch and should be fired for being rude, since I have the proof right here that I was left the message. She assumed I didn't know it was her, and so she was as polite as she could be while she was grinding her teeth. Just then, before I played the message, I found out my property manager's name was Jim so I just asked to see him (I thought it might be the name on the messsage). She then proceeded to give my 3 inconsistent explanations for where Jim was in the course of the conversation:
- He's on the phone
- He was at lunch
- He was in the back working on the testing
Finally, I got this email from Richard:
I have scheduled a meeting to discuss the situation on September 28th at 7:00 p.m. at Schenley High School (Centre and Bigelow). Please help spread the word.
I let Jim know about the date, and I prepared a note to put on the door of my building about the date of the meeting. The day I was preparing to put it up I got this in the mail:
I thought that his ideas were reasonable ones, the best idea was to convert metered spots to area S spots, since J was so competitive. But you could tell that he had put some time into this, so I was pretty thrilled. The same day, under my door I received a letter from Mozart:
Now this was good, because everyone in my building got this letter, even if they didn't get the official one from the city. But I was a little pissed Mozart was taking credit for getting this meeting. Don't get me wrong - I don't need the credit, but I don't want people thinking Mozart did something to help their residents. They don't really do that kind of thing.
I was worried about turnout, so I reminded people with another note the day of the meeting on the building door. Surprisingly, there was a decent turnout (at least from my building):
- Me & Jessica
- This couple on my floor
- A guy downstairs
- A girl downstairs
- The two loud guys in the penthouse(i think)
- A couple from parking area S
- Some random girl from many streets over, looking to piggyback on our effort
- A representative for some organization of the residents of J
- Richard Meritzer, the head of City Planning
The meeting basically went like this. We all decided very quickly together that we should convert as many metered spots as possible to permit spots. Then, since we would have to add them to some permit area, the J guy argued against adding us to J. Since six years ago the residents of S prevented my building from getting permit parking, Richard had to ask the residents of S if we could be added to S. They agreed if some metered spots would be removed. And then we went home.
But that's only the story after you remove all the insanity:
- The random girl interrupted everyone loudly trying to get her irrelevant point across about her personal situation in which she gets parking tickets for this one spot somewhere. I mean, she interrupted EVERYBODY. Even after they agreed to give her the spot. I don't blame her for acting that way, it made the difference. The other strange thing about her is the way she talked about this parking spot she wanted. She kept saying "If you only knew about this parking spot." "You should see what I have to go through...". How bad could a parking spot be? Was there some pimp that made her turn tricks every time she needed her car?
- The couple from S was really weird. The woman never spoke, and the guy kept shouting all the time. He was always like "I don't understand, just give them parking!", "Just remove the meters!" "What's the problem?" etc. He also interrupted everyone. So, you could imagine that he and the random girl interrupted each other frequently. I remember that I concluded that he is completely insane.
- The guys from the penthouse, who blast music (if you can call amplified Casio keyboard loops music) through my ceiling arrived very late, and left very early. I don't think they understand what was going on.
- A representative from Mozart DID show up, 45 minutes late, and he professed that he was here to get permit parking for "The Pennsylvania", some adjacent building to ours. Richard and other residents of my building tried in vain to convince him that "The Pennsylvania" already had permit parking, and had had it for 2 years or more. Richard even said that he put the paperwork through himself. And people from my building had friends in that other building who had permits currently. The guy was unconvinced. Finally, we all had to take 20 minutes to explain to this loser what we had decided. He was clearly on some sort of medication/low IQ/alcohol/etc. He arrived late and had no idea what he was doing.
- Poor Richard was trying to finish up.
Richard: Do the residents of S agree with the plan?
Insane Guy from S: Yeah!!! Just give them parking!!!! Yeah!!
Richard: (sigh) Do the residents of the Schenley Arms agree?
Richard: Does Mozart agree?
Mozart idiot: (raises one thumb)
Richard: Ok then we are in agre--
Interrupting girl: What about my spot?
Richard: And your spot. So we are in agreement...
So I met some nice people from my building, probably the only nice ones, and learned that you can get away with a lot in government because of people's apathy (The people in S against the plan last time didn't really fight us cause they didn't feel like showing up). I also confirmed through my conversations at the meeting that Mozart, despite the good intentions of property manager Jim, is completely incompetant and evil. Apparently they are STILL telling people that the Schenley Arms has permit parking, even after my whole problem with it. Also, Mozart had made the conscious decision to not ask the city to fix the problem but rather to let the residents they lied to about the permits take their time to go downtown and get angry themselves, me included. Somehow they thought this annoyance would make the city cave and change the policy, at the expense only of their own residents. The people making these decisions at Mozart really are wastes of space. I called Jim the next day to find out that toolbox's name, but he was extremely evasive.
Now we are all just waiting for something to change. Meanwhile, some of the meter heads have been stolen again, so that's better than nothing.