Citizens ask to address City Commission on Monday: At least one person has requested five minutes to speak before the Rome City Commission at Monday evening’s meeting. Downtown businessman Jay Shell — who opened 333 on Broad a decade ago, moved to Brewhouse Music & Grill and now with partner Dr. Trent Pault has opened Rome City Brewing — has asked to be included on the agenda. Says Shell in a Facebook post Sunday afternoon:
“Attention to all Downtown Rome business owners and customers, for or against the new parking plan that’s being implemented this week. I have heard from a lot of you over the last week. I’m asking you to join me on Monday at City Hall in downtown Rome for the city commission meeting. Caucus starts at 5 p.m. and the commission meeting starts at 6:30 pm. I have asked to be added to the agenda. If you wish to speak, I am sure you can also be added.
“Please do not used this Facebook post to debate or add comments/opinions. We all know Facebook posts don’t change much. I’m asking you to show up. Be seen. Be heard. Be respectful. Being in that room means way more than any Facebook post you could ever make or comment on.
“Our city commissioners are great folks that do not mind hearing from our citizens. There’s a right way to do things. Join me in those efforts. #SaveDowntownRome”
Hometown Poll on parking draws more than 1,200 votes since 9 a.m. Sunday. Two basic questions are included — “enforce 8 a.m.-8 p.m. 5/20” (starting Monday) or “start after graduations” this coming Saturday and Sunday. As of 4:20 p.m., it was 95 percent delay, 5 percent enforce. Where to vote.
5 p.m. caucus on Monday to include parking report: The pre-meeting caucus will include an update on downtown parking from Becky Smyth, Parking manager. Unlike the regular commission meeting, the 5 p.m. caucus is not webcast live. Click here for the current agenda.
LETTERS TO CITY COMMISSION
As part of our #downtownshowdown parking fumble coverage, Hometown Headlines asked readers to share their letters to Rome City commissioners with us (you’ll find the commissioners’ email addresses below). Following are several of the letters we’ve received prior to Monday’s City Commission meeting (6:30 p.m., city hall).
‘Let the people have downtown Rome back.’
Most Elite Commissioners,
We, the consumers of goods and services, have enjoyed the offerings of Broad Street merchants from cookie vendors to ice cream parlors to eating establishments of different sorts to purveyors of spirits to merchants of fine jewelry and many others in a go-easy Southern environment for as long as I can remember.
Discrete smokers have been able enjoy a downtown visit without being condemned for bringing suffering and death to the public square. Using good judgment has almost always left room for their pleasure. Why, not even the offender of the parking regulations was held up to public ridicule when business was slow and abundant places were available!
Even if he received a ticket, he didn’t mind paying a fine when “caught.” It was paid and it was finished…till the next time. But now he is considered to be a public villain to be sought out by the latest technology available. That street-blocking four wheeler now patrolling the downtown area for offenders is a public nuisance, and a possible cause for an altercation.
You see, civility comes from a community spirit of being reasonable and living with the opportunities given. When I was a kid, on shopping day, dad sought a parking spot till he found one. That was that, life went on without City Hall assisting.
In my life time, over 80 years, Rome has made it without the need for a street-blocking computerized ticket buggy! In the ordinary chain of events, such things as a business transaction, meeting a friend while dining, a longer wait in the barber shop than expected can result in an overstay of the time restriction.
So now the pleasure of a downtown visit will often be negatively impacted with dread as the traffic-blocking ticket buggy is seen approaching. Are you for the money to be gained, or for the people?
As for tobacco consumption, I don’t smoke but why should I be offended by someone who does so while showing consideration for my space and that of others? Quite frankly, I don’t mind the pleasant odor while munching my sugar-laced cookie at an open air table. When it is considered the harm caused by sugar to the human body, will sweets and their vendors be next to be condemned? While you may think this is a silly observation, it is not.
History shows that this is the way the culture evolves as the “ruling class” seeks to manage beyond their sphere of natural responsibility.
Let the people have downtown Rome back!
‘Do not kill our Broad Street. If this plan starts, that is what will happen over time.’
I am writing to urge you to overturn the parking enforcement plan. We have one of the best Broad Streets broad around and it hasn’t thrived like it is now in decades.
The entire community is against this. I am a staunch supporter of our tennis center but as people get tickets because they eat lunch and dinner on Broad Street, they are not going to frequent it the next time they come into town for a tournament. My wife and father-in-law many times will eat lunch on Broad with clients and then we may eat dinner on Broad that same evening.
This policy would punish anyone that does. We often times will start our evening at Old Havana with friends and then move to eating at another establishment. Now we will not be able to do that either. This is an absurd thought process to limit people to their time on Broad Street.
I urge you to move away from this plan. My suggestions, if you feel you need to do so, is make Broad Street premium parking with meters and parking decks free. I am willing to pay a premium to park on Broad when I frequent it. This is considered phase two, I believe. Skip one and move to two. Do not kill our Broad Street. If this plan starts, that is what will happen over time.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more turbulent time in Rome City government than what’s happened this week with the parking enforcement ultimatum for downtown Rome, starting on Monday, just days before five high school graduations in under 24 hours.
There is another opportunity to let Rome city commissioners, the administration and others know exactly how you feel about the parking restrictions taking effect this Monday: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday enforcement of a two-hour total day free parking option.
The City Commission moved its second meeting of the month up one week, to this Monday night vs. May 27, because of the Memorial Day holiday. The switch gives the community time to present opinions, options and other feedback to commissioners beginning at 6:30 p.m. this Monday. The pre-meeting caucus will be at 5 p.m. and will include an update on downtown parking from Becky Smyth, Parking manager. Click here for the current agenda.
- Just show up and pack the commission chamber. The commissioners over the years have a very good ability to do a nose count and vote the way of the community when a crowd shows up. Just ask those from East Rome neighborhoods who fill the second floor meeting room whenever someone wants to “encroach” beyond Turner McCall frontage property.
- Email the commissioners now and/or throughout the weekend. We’ve added bold lettering indicating which of the six commissioners face re-election this fall:
- Ward three/Mayor Bill Collins: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ward two/Mayor Pro Tem Randy Quick: email@example.com
- Ward two/Commissioner Wendy Davis: firstname.lastname@example.org. Davis will be in Japan starting Saturday and will not be able to attend Monday’s meeting.
- Ward two/ Commissioner Jamie Doss: 706-236-4400 or Kkiser@romega.us
- Ward one/Commissioner Bill Irmscher: email@example.com
- Ward three/Commissioner Craig McDaniel: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ward three/Commissioner Evie McNiece: email@example.com
- Ward one/Commissioner Milton Slack: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ward one/Commissioner Sundai Stevenson: email@example.com
- Copy that: We invite you to CC us as well at firstname.lastname@example.org