Monrovia : Parking Dispute Revived

By deciding to let voters determine the matter in a special election this July, the Monrovia City Council thought it had settled a fight over an ordinance restricting overnight parking. That was before Tuesday night's council meeting.

After they were attacked by proponents of the ordinance on the grounds that the election would be expensive and an uncourageous way to avoid making a difficult decision, the council decided to hold one more public hearing.

"If all hard decisions have to go on the ballot, I suggest we have an election every month for all issues and dissolve the City Council," said Pat Myers, a former school board member.

At an earlier meeting, the council was attacked by opponents of the ordinance, which would forbid parking on city streets from 2 to 6 a.m. without a special permit, who charged that council members were dictatorial and that the ordinance would violate constitutional rights.

Council members, who seemed aggrieved at the mounting attacks from both sides, complained that three public hearings were held before the ordinance was approved in January and that no concerns were raised until weeks later.

Residents with complaints "should have come out a long time ago," said Councilman William Card. "We were trying to make the best decision."

After the hearing, members said they will decide whether to enforce the ordinance, which has been put on hold for now, to amend it, or to hold a special election, which would cost $12,000 to $14,000. The hearing will be at 6 p.m. April 28 in the Community Center, 119 W. Palm Ave.

Monrovia's ordinance, which was first proposed five years ago, was enacted after a three-month voluntary program failed to clear streets so sweeping could be accomplished more efficiently.

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