Keeping my change

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A recent parking ticket I received will be the last I pay to the city of Missoula. My wife and I will no longer park in the Missoula downtown area prior to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If Missoula’s intent with the new parking violation fees is to keep us from spending our hard-earned money at downtown Missoula businesses, it has succeeded. We will no longer give the downtown our business during meter hours.

It needs to be made clear to the city that parking meter fees are viewed by the public as nothing more than a tax to park—analogous to a sales tax—for spending money to keep downtown businesses afloat. That tax is predominantly levied against poor people who work minimum-wage jobs. Thus, the city of Missoula steals from the poor to give to the rich.

Perhaps Missoula needs to look to the city of Kalispell, which removed all of its parking meters in the early ’80s. Since then, its downtown businesses have thrived.

As far as the “free” first-hour parking in Central Park—who cares? This is just another scam by the city to somehow give you a “deal” that will then require money for an hour and a minute. Money, I might add, that I will not give to the Missoula Parking Commission under any circumstances.

It is truly a sad state of affairs when elected officials inflict additional grief on an already struggling populace with such fees and fines.

Shame on the city of Missoula.

Michael Jarnevic

Milltown

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