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Platteville Journal letter to the editor for June 20
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Whose parking is it?

I have concerns over the rights of faculty and staff at the UW Platteville to make free choices regarding where to park.

Currently, parking on city streets such as College Drive, Greenwood and University Plaza, which are streets owned and maintained by the City of Platteville like other city streets, don't require that a fee of $210 be paid to the university. Regarding university property, the current fee for parking is $198 for faculty and staff parking on university owned lots. It will soon increase to $210. Last year it was $135.

Even though we think that these increases are excessive, the main issue is not the charge for parking on university owned property.

The concern is the fact that our taxpayer-owned city streets are being used by the university, and that the university will charge its employees $210 for parking on city-owned property.

When employees of the university opt to pay $210 for a lot, they are getting something special for their money. There are given the right to park close to their place of work, along with the conveniences that go with it.

When they are told that they no longer have a choice and that they may well have to pay to the university $210 for parking on city-owned streets, and that they will be fined for not paying for a $210 parking permit, they will feel like they are being forced to pay something for nothing, along with the injuries that come with the fines imposed by the University Police for parking on city property paid by taxpayers.

We already have a problem with parking in residential areas due to the construction of a new student residence hall.

My understanding is that the city residents near to that new dorm will be given permits to park near their homes at no cost. This is good and this is just. Such permits could also be given to employees of the university who need to come to work and who choose to park on the streets.

I encourage the Platteville Common Council to adopt an amendment to the proposal before them that would allow university employees to receive the same type of permit to park on the city streets of College Drive, Greenwood, and University Plaza without the burden of being forced to pay UW–Platteville this extra $210 for parking on taxpayer property which the university does not own. The stakeholders of the university have not been adequately consulted and informed about this potential new hardship.

Please allow for a compromise regarding city permits for UWP faculty and staff who want to exercise the choice of not using university parking lots. Please avoid this major conflict of interest. Except for some money that the university will give the city so that it can profit form its employees by taking away our choice, this proposal does not concern the interests of our fine community, such as restricting certain areas of parking due to the need for snow removal or other hazards. In such cases, parking is restricted, but no profit is made by the city, and such restrictions serve the interests of the city,

Please pass the suggested amendment to the proposal and avoid conflicts of interest and unnecessary hardships which could linger, fester, and affect our fine community.

Ray Spoto