382 GRIPES and Griping Strong!



I had to do it! I had to create a blog so you and I could gripe about all of "The Crap" that we encounter everyday in our lives. Believe me, there is plenty! You can now come to this blog to Gripe because you have the right to do so. Over time, we will Gripe about topics ranging from sports to politics to just about all of the garbage that happens around us. When you Gripe, you can add your name or not. It's your right! You can vent any way you want. Use foul language if you are angry enough to and if you are offended, just Gripe It! Hell, we have been banned from Facebook twice! You can Gripe about people, places and things. The only thing I ask is if you are going to Gripe about someone and you use their name, make sure you have the facts straight or say it's your opinion. Otherwise they will sue your and my ass off! It's your RIGHT TO GRIPE! You can respond to one of our Gripes or you can lay down your own Gripe. It's easy. To post your own Gripe just email it to therighttogripe@hotmail.com and we will get it on. You can also post a Gripe on our Facebook page. Just search The Right To Gripe. If you don't want to write it down, just click on one of the boxes below each Gripe to give your opinion. You can also become an official "Griper". All you need to do is "Sign Up" and create an account. IT'S FREE! So, don't sit back and take it, just GRIPE IT!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The County Loses Money On Their Parkade

This past week I read a story in The Times Leader about Luzerne County losing money on their Water Street Parkade. Are you kidding me? My brain almost exploded when I read the headline! I immediately thought of Peter Griffin of Family Guy when he said, "My head would explode if I began to know what I was talking about". How the hell can you lose money on a Parkade? Well, our fiscal wizards in the county have found a way. In 2002, they claim it cost them $72,000 to operate the Parkade with revenues being only $12,000. My old time math tells me that they lost $60,000. Are you f*#king kidding me?

First off, motorists who don't work for the county pay a flat $0.50 to park. I assume that county employees park for free. Not surprising. When you park in one of Wilkes-Barre's many city parkades it feels like $0.50 a minute when you get to the toll both. Of course, that is a Gripe for another day. The counties reasoning for charging only $0.50 is that they have no way to track how long people have parked there. The ticketing machine was damaged in 2004, yes 6 years ago and parts are no longer available. I guess Fred Flintstone must have sold them the ticket machine. This year, the county has budgeted to take in $8,800 and has only collected $1,350 so far. Even the dimmest bulb in the box can see that this is behind budget.

Secondly, the security person stationed at the toll booth makes $21,000 a year to sit there and collect the money. Oh by the way, if you want to get out of there without paying your $0.50, just leave at lunch time because no one is stationed at the booth to collect money. I would suspect that they need traffic management there every day around lunch time. Again I have to say, Are you kidding me?

And finally, with no toll booth comes no tickets and no accountability. Yes, the dreaded accountability word. As far as I can see, the County has none. How do we know that the toll collector is not slipping every other quarter in his or her pocket. Shit, they could add another $10,000 a year to their salary and no one would know. The way I see it there are 463 total parking spaces in the Water Street Parkade. If one half or 231 of them are filled by people paying $0.50 per day to park there that would mean the county is taking in $115.00 per day or $577.00 per week in parking fees. If you multiply that out by 52 weeks that means they should bring in about $30,004 per year in parking fees. Why are they only bringing in $12,000? As I stated, one quarter to the county, one quarter to somebody's beer fund.

So, what is the solution? I always say if you are going to Gripe about something, come up with a solution to fix it. It appears very simple. A new ticketing and tracking system would cost up to $100,000 to purchase and install according to the county. In these tough economic times a ticket system for a Parkade should be very low on the list. In order to break even, the county would have to charge a flat $6.00 to park there based on one half of the people paying to park. That's just too much! Simply charge a $3.00 flat fee for non county employees and make county employees pay a monthly fee of $30.00 to park there. This $30.00 can be taken through payroll deduction. Believe me, $30.00 is cheap compared to the $50.00 and $60.00 monthly rates charged by the city. Also, here is a novel idea, apply for a state or federal grant or a casino grant to pay for the purchase of a new toll system. I guess doing something like that would make the brains of the county fiscal wizards explode or maybe they already have.

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