Wednesday, June 23, two dozen Banker’s Hill and Park West residents, many representing the residential towers Bellefontaine and Park Laurel, filed into the penthouse at the Century Plaza Tower for the monthly meeting of the Banker’s Hill/Park West Community Association.
Up for discussion, for the second consecutive meeting, was the issue of parking-meter revenues and the abolishment of Uptown Partnership, the nonprofit agency that administers the parking district for Banker’s Hill, Hillcrest, Mission Hills, and Five Points. Area residents want revenues collected from parking meters to be spent on their community, not administration, and not other communities.
In recent months, Banker’s Hill residents and their Uptown neighbors have discussed the issue at community meetings and called on city councilmembers to scrap the City's contract with Uptown Partnership. On May 24, a San Diego County Grand Jury recommended further analysis of the contract and suggested returning the revenues to the City's general fund. Two days later, the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee postponed a preliminary hearing on the parking district contract.
At the meeting, Banker’s Hill residents were inclined to believe that the City would not renew the contract with Uptown Partnership and do away with community parking districts entirely. They expressed concerns that the city council would take the grand jury's recommendation and deposit the revenues into the general fund.
"We all know what happens with money that goes into the general fund," said one resident. "If that happens, then essentially there will be a specialty tax for those people living in Uptown, since we are the only ones, besides downtown and some areas in North park, that have parking meters."
The members unanimously passed a motion calling for the abolishment of Uptown Partnership, preferring that revenues be kept in the community and not deposited into the general fund. The motion included a recommendation for communities to form voluntary boards to make suggestions for parking projects in their community.
This correspondent contacted district 2 councilmember Kevin Faulconer with questions regarding the motion passed by his constituents and their concerns about the parking-meter revenues. Faulconer spokesperson Tony Manolatos responded in a brief email. "As you know, Kevin has expressed concerns about the Uptown Partnership. But he also sees value in parking districts."
Manolatos included a link to a November 2009 dispatch written by Faulconer on the "success" of the Downtown Parking Management Group, a group of downtown residents and business owners.
"More local control and less government has led to dramatically positive results, and I believe it's time for the City to expand on this successful formula," read the dispatch.
No other information was provided.