City’s downtown parking permit system fine, says city review

Published on June 2, 2014

A recently completed internal review of St. John’s downtown parking permit system has found very little misuse, says the city.

City council Monday night accepted a report from the community services committee on possible improper use of parking permits that says permits are monitored by the city’s parking enforcement division, and complaints from residents are investigated.

“Any suspected abuse of a permit will result in monitoring that permit for several days. If abuse has been determined, the permit holder will be contacted, advised of the abuse, permit cancelled and no future permits issued to that resident,” Janine Halliday, the community services department’s manager of citizen services, wrote in a memo to deputy city manager Jill Brewer.

Councillors voted to accept the committee’s recommendation to continue with the current system.

Committee chairman Coun. Bernard Davis urged residents to let the city know if they think someone is misusing permits.

Deputy Mayor Ron Ellsworth said the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Realtors feels it is an unfair target of criticism.

“The real estate association, of all of its members, they have 33 permits that they access and use,” he said, noting the association has nearly 600 members in the St. John’s area. “They will reach out to their membership to make sure their membership understands the intent of these permits is to allow the residents of downtown who want to sell their properties an opportunity to get a real-estate agent to come into their neighbourhoods, work with downtown residents to be able to facilitate change of hands of ownership.”

Longtime volunteer named Senior of the Year

Fraser Ellis is the Senior of the Year for St. John’s. Ellis, nominated by former city councillor Sheilagh O’Leary, received the award at council’s regular meeting Monday night for more than three decades of volunteer work.

“He’s devoted a lifetime of helping people in our community, and there’s a wide list of accomplishments,” Coun. Tom Hann said in announcing the award at the meeting.

Ellis’s volunteer work includes driving cancer patients to and from doctor appointments and helping with their daily errands, and work for the Cochrane Street United Church. He’s also a founding member of the Anchormen Barbershop Chorus, which has been performing for more than 30 years.

“He probably does more in one week than most of us do in one month,” said Hann. “It’s people like him who make our community a better place to live.”

Ellis called the award an honour, and said he would accept it on behalf of those who do “much more” than he does.

“I do no less, no more than dozens or hundreds of people,” he said. “They’re all over the place. All we need is more of ’em.”