In recent days I have raised the ire of the Real Estate Association with my comments regarding the issuance of 33 parking permits in the downtown region for real estate agents.
While this number may seem low based on your perspective, try explaining the rationale behind this to the 1,654 residents who purchased permits this past year. There is little room for argument in stating that downtown residents are already struggling with increased parking demands in such a limited space.
The issue is not specific to misuse, but the rationale behind why these permits should be issued in the first place. The first thing comes to my mind is when you visit an open house in the downtown — do you have access to a parking permit?
As council’s representative for the downtown, I don’t even have access to a parking permit, nor do I intend to ask for one. I, like many other people when visiting a resident, obtain a visitor’s permit from the homeowner and place it in my window for the duration of my visit. Real estate agents shouldn’t trump residential homeowners in accessing residential parking.
The time has come for non-essential service providers to step back and evaluate their need for these permits and do the right thing — return them to city hall.
I have no intention of backing down on representing the best interests of my constituents and therefore, I’m not sold on any argument or justification for real estate agents having access to residential parking in the downtown.
Jonathan P. Galgay
St. John’s Ward 2 councillor