Our thanks for a fair article (Carbon Commissioners hear more parking rate complaints, Times News, August 16, 2013), regarding the Jim Thorpe County Lot parking issue - an issue that has received precious little reasonable discussion, except from the Times News.
The commissioners' explanation of why they removed the year 2012 from their parking calculations is a perfect example. It is true the town of Jim Thorpe was part of the Best of the Road contest that year, but we didn't even pick up the bronze medal. We finished fourth, and even that decision wasn't made until September. That doesn't justify removing 2012 from consideration.
More tellingly, it shows a lack of understanding of how publicity actually works, especially in this day and age. There is so much white promotional noise out there, that it is a challenge to get a message out there that people even notice.
The idea that a single promotion somehow made 2012 so exceptional that the commissioners would unilaterally throw it out of the parking comparison leaves us scratching our heads.
Everyone knows how to read a monthly bank statement. Contrary to what the commissioners may say about the complexity of the parking numbers, they are no more difficult to understand than a bank statement.
What we propose is that the commissioners simply modify what they've already done: keep the weekday increase, and continue the $10 rate on exceptional weekends such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July, St Patrick's Day, Fall Foliage, Old Time Christmas, etc. when people expect a parking increase and when the commissioners get most of their parking revenue anyway.
Roll it back to $5 on the other weekends. Let residents enjoy Jim Thorpe like visitors do. The current $10 fee is a particular burden to the very Carbon citizens who own that lot.
Buy a CD downtown, have breakfast, or visit a friend? On the weekend, when you have some free time, it will cost you $10 for the privilege. The commissioners themselves would think twice before paying $10 just to park.
At 2012 parking levels, they would see the same revenue. $5 wouldn't have the devastating word-of-mouth consequences that the $10 rate has, and wouldn't cause long-term harm to a huge segment of the local economy.
The commissioners have two straightforward options that both yield the same revenue result: one that places a burden on local business and one that doesn't. They insist, despite all evidence to the contrary, on making the first choice.
Jim Thorpe Tourism Agency