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There’s been a lot of discussion on this thread here and this thread here about proposed changes to Newton’s overtime parking rules.

Here’s the minutes and the audio from the City Council’s March 23rd Public Safety and Transportation meeting* where this proposal was approved to be sent to the full city council for a vote.  (Deliberation of the proposed parking rule changes came nearly two hours into the meeting)

After listening to it, I can’t help but get the impression that the discussion was rushed and the committee was tired and anxious to pass the proposal without a lot of debate.  I’d be interested in hearing if others reach the same conclusion.

Particularly rushed is the deliberation over the proposal’s most controversial aspect: A new rule that would make it illegal to park at the same meter, the same block or even the same city parking lot twice in the same day. 

Direct discussion about the “no same day return” visits does not start until the very end (37:30 on the tape). Three minutes later the proposal is voted on.  Voting in favor are Councilors  Jake Auchincloss, (PS&T Chair) Jay Ciccone, Jim Cote, Andrea Downs,  Chris Markiewicz and Rick Lipof.  Councilors Brenda Noel and Becky Grossman voted no.

I found that the way Councilors Grossman’s and Noel’s concerns were dismissed over a significant public policy decision to be troubling. Also troubling (although I understand the comments were perhaps said in jest) are comments telling Grossman and Noel: “Don’t put this on second call,” suggesting that the committee hoped to put these new rules into place without any actual debate before the full city council.

Of course, that’s ultimately what didn’t happen: After a public outcry over the weekend,  on Monday the proposal was kicked back to this same committee for further discussion.

*The audio here is just for the overtime parking discussion, the full meeting audio is also here.





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