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Public parking revisited

Published: 
Monday, June 11, 2018

When the government sets up operation (a ministry, an agency or simply an office) it is to facilitate the public, isn’t that a fact?

So whether they constructed a building or they rented one, it was done because there was a need for them to provide some sort of service to the public and that particular location was chosen because it was felt that the specific service in question would best serve (numerically) the greater public?

If, however, the site chosen was not appropriate and the public did not visit it in numbers which made it a viable operation to carry it on there, it might be the practical thing to close shop there and move elsewhere.

Good. The point is, such operations are set up to facilitate the public. If, therefore, you have a staff of one person, ten persons or one hundred persons who duly report to work (8-4), and if public attendance is not good, regardless of staff punctuality and diligence, it would be the logical thing to cease operation there.

In private enterprise, staff might have their services terminated or be transferred to some other area where business is better, more viable. In short, business comes first and staff are incidental; they are not indispensable; the operation was not set up for them per se. They are there because of public patronage. No public patronage, no business, no staff.

In private enterprise, parking is often provided for the public. Go to a supermarket or a bank, for example, and there is parking provided for customers because it is recognised that they exist because of the public—which is a mobile one; most everybody has a vehicle, and shoppers who can’t get a park will simply move to another business where parking is provided. It’s as simple as that; and it is why private enterprise succeeds—because the public comes first and the customer is king. A worker should not occupy a park that is provided for customers.

However, in the public sector, where often there is little or no parking available, whatever parking there might be, parking is invariably commandeered by staff and is reserved by security (who are often IQ challenged) for them as if, because they have a job there, parking is theirs by right of that position and that the public (for whom that operation was established and thus they owe their positions) have no parking rights whatsoever.

Where in the public service regulations did it say that we are hiring librarians or clerks etc at a salary of $7,500 with guaranteed parking for your vehicle if you have one? Where?

And which applicant for that job tells the interviewer that I will take the librarian job only if you guarantee me parking for my vehicle or take the job and shove it, which one?

It all implies that the parking spaces should be fairly available to the public and staff on a first come first serve basis (where parking is limited) and staff have no first preference as if their father left them a deed for that cemetery-size parking spot.

Tell me, why should security place no parking signs and occupy precious parking spaces (for the entire day, week, month, year) just in case some outside staff dropped by thus blocking a space and denying the public that wishes to conduct business there—sometimes, oftentimes, for very short periods—a park?

Town and Country has to establish the rule that business operations that are going to attract a voluminous clientele must first provide parking accommodation. If they do this, then many government agencies might have to move, as in their foolhardiness buildings that have little or no parking spaces are rented by government at astronomical costs, creating this impasse between employees and the public for parking.

Finally, when government sets up office who is it for, if not the public? And when you get employed in the public sector, who told you that one of the perks of the job was guaranteed parking for your vehicle and that your park is reserved for you whether you turn up to work or not?

Technically, we the people, the public, whose tax dollars pay for that building, and pay your salaries, are the real owners (of those parking spots) and those who work there are really our employees, our hired hands, who have no God-given rights to a park. Get it?

L Siddhartha Orie,
via email

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