Downtown parking irks merchant
by By JOYANNA LOVE Banner Staff Writer
Sep 23, 2013 | 2038 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dan Howell
Dan Howell
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Downtown parking has at least one small business owner complaining about the allegedly improper parking practices of Bradley County employees.

An anonymous downtown business owner recently circulated a letter of complaint to several county offices. The letter claims county employees are parking in front of businesses rather than in the public parking lots they are supposed to use.

“I am sick and tired of county employees parking in spaces near my front door,” the letter states in capital letters. “These employees waste more time playing musical parking space than they do working.”

Dan Howell with the Bradley County Mayor’s Office said employees are told when they are hired where they can park. Some are given an assigned spot in the lot beside the Courthouse Annex. The rest are told to park in the public parking spaces.

This is not the first time the mayor’s office has received such a letter. Howell said it happens about once a year.

In response to such complaints, “we always verify that mayor’s office employees are parking in assigned spaces or in public parking,” Howell said.

Howell said the mayor can only tell his own employees where to park. Elected officials such as at the Bradley County Trustee’s Office are responsible for telling their employees where to park.

Trustee Mike Smith said this is the first time he had received such a complaint.

“I don’t know who he is talking, about or where,” Smith said.

Nonetheless, Smith said he still showed the letter to his employees.

County Clerk Donna Simpson also received a copy of the letter. She said her department had received a few calls in the past about parking issues. However, these are rare.

“I always encourage them to park away from the Courthouse and not take up spaces for the public,” Simpson said.

Howell said some employees at the Courthouse have assigned spaces beneath the building. Simpson said those spaces and ones near the Courthouse Annex are assigned based on seniority.

The author of the letter said he would be in favor of the city installing parking meters to discourage employees from parking in spots in front of businesses.