Published on the February 11, 2019 edition.
By MARK SARDELLA
WAKEFIELD — A proposal to hire two part-time civilian parking enforcement officers to help address the issue of parking for long periods in the downtown area will be discussed at tonight’s Town Council meeting.
Parking for extended periods beyond the current one-hour time limit is seen as exacerbating the already-limited number of parking spaces available to customers in the downtown area. Police enforcement is inconsistent, as officers are frequently called away on more urgent matters. Parking enforcement is also seen an an inefficient use of police officers’ training, education and expertise.
The hope is that stepped-up enforcement will increase turnover and create greater parking availability for customers.
The two proposed positions would each entail 19 hours a week under the proposal, which is seen as budget-neutral, with the parking fines for violations covering the the wages of the attendants.
At the Jan. 28 Town Council meeting, Councilor Edward Dombroski proposed the use of hand-held devices that would allow attendants to easily track parking times and automatically generate tickets when violations occur. He will be bringing an example of such a device to demonstrate at tonight’s meeting.
In addition to a decision on the hiring of parking attendants, the Town Council is also expected to vote tonight on changing the parking time limits in most areas from one hour to two hours.
Also on tonight’s Town Council agenda are the Police Department and Fire Department budgets for FY 2020.
The Town Council is also expected to discuss and possibly vote on the submission of Statements of Interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority seeking financial assistance in addressing roof issues at the Greenwood and Walton schools.