There was a six-month report on the street-sweeping parking enforcement program that was presented TEN weeks ago tonight. Although the City Council "directed Staff to attempt to develop a set of criteria for granting permanent program accommodations to residents" at that meeting on April 6, STILL no action has been taken. What possible excuse can there be for the staff and council to drag their feet on this issue? Is it because they want to grab every possible penny from Brea residents before giving them a reasonable place to park? Really, I have no idea why the City Council majority has continued to ignore the hardships of Brea residents for NINE months now. I am also disappointed that the analysis of the parking ticket appeal process has not yet been completed. Although it was estimated that the review of the appealed tickets would take about a month, there is still no report 2 ½ months later. I realize the City Manager has stopped responding to my comments at these meetings, but I hope tonight he can at least give the residents of Brea an update on these matters.
In response to the continued inaction by this City Council majority, we Brea residents have decided to take action ourselves. We have begun collecting signatures to place an initiative on the November ballot, called the "Right to Park Act," to repeal the resolution that restricts parking in Brea on street-sweeping days. Brea residents will no longer be silenced and will finally have an opportunity to voice their opinion on this important issue. My first opportunity to collect signatures came at the sign-ups for swim lessons at the Brea Plunge last weekend. I don't know about you, but when I see someone coming toward me with a clipboard, I usually turn and try to avoid eye contact. However, when I introduced myself and asked if anyone had problems with parking on street-sweeping day, people were lining up to sign the petition and to share the stories of their hardships!
I met hundreds of residents and heard many unbelievable stories that morning. I encourage the City Council members to do the same - go out and talk to residents, perhaps while on your campaign trail in the coming months - I believe it will be an eye-opening experience for you! I heard the stories of several moms who were ticketed when visiting their kids' school. There was the 21-year-old resident who had already racked up over $300 in Brea parking tickets. There was the friend who was visiting the newborn and the grandfather coming to have lunch with his grandson these activities were taxed at $38 each because they happened on street-sweeping day. My favorite story was the woman who runs a licensed daycare business from her home in Brea. Even though the City requires her to have a certain amount of curb space available for customers, the City has made parking in front of her house illegal from 8 am to 2 pm one business day a week! I guess a $38 tax will be randomly applied to the cost of these families' daycare from now on.
As you can imagine, we've easily collected hundreds of signatures just in the first week, and word of mouth has just begun to spread. We are not paying anyone to collect signatures, it is entirely a grass-roots effort: by Brea residents for Brea residents. To request a signature page, and learn more about the history of this resolution and our fight against it, please visit www.righttopark.com. I realize that this parking restriction does not affect every Brea resident. To those residents, I ask that you imagine what your life would be like if you had no driveway and you required on-street parking. Imagine what your life will be like as your kids get older and get their own cars. In thinking about these scenarios, I'm sure you can quickly imagine how impossible your situation would be, and how impossible it already is for thousands of Brea residents. I hope you can support our efforts to get this initiative on the ballot. There is no question that this resolution was passed as a way to generate revenue, not to keep our streets clean. Even if you disagree, one thing is for certain: there are ways to keep Brea's streets clean without the drastic measures taken by this City Council majority.
[click here to download pdf of this presentation]