Cooperstown’s paid parking has gotten off to a rough start, but only three people showed up to comment about it on June 6 at a public forum on the issue, and two of those people wanted more paid parking.
The well-publicized forum was part of the village’s monthly streets and buildings committee meeting.
To Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz, it indicated that despite grumbling by opponents of paid parking, the new system is going to work for the village.
“I think what is interesting about public feedback is it shows that it is always about who you talk to,” said Katz, who was not at the meeting, which was led by trustee Cindy Falk. “The direct feedback or the secondhand feedback I have heard has been pretty positive. Most of the feedback I have gotten from residents or area residents has either been pretty positive or at least the people who were not positive about it, get that it is a process.”
Katz, however, admits that the system’s initial problems have been frustrating to supporters as well as opponents of the new system. On Monday, he took the unusual step of sending out a media release to address some of the concerns of local residents and business owners.
“Please bear with us through this start-up phase, and help make paid parking work for the benefit of the village,” the release concluded.
When reached by phone later, Katz said he sent the release because he wanted to make sure that concerned residents of Cooperstown and neighboring towns and villages knew that the problems are being worked out, and free parking is still available for those who don’t want to pay to park on Main or Pioneer streets.
“I wanted to assure people we are on it,” he said. “We are walking the streets. We are in and out of business talking to the owners and customers. I am aware of it. The trustees are aware of it. The police are aware of it. When things have gone wrong, we are all in the loop, and we are all doing our best to respond to the problems.”