PORTER | Resident Michael O’Conner debated the Porter Town Council over parking restrictions on Dearborn Street in Porter Beach.
O’Conner said he received a notice his vehicle would be towed if it was parked on Dearborn Street and had 14 days to abide by the notice, but he asked where he and other residents should park and why was the ordinance now being enforced.
Council President Elka Nelson responded she encouraged the homeowners, who had formed the Dearborn Parking Association, to come to the town with a proposal on how the situation should be legally handled, along with an agreement to maintain Dearborn Street, but the conversation grew heated and abruptly ended.
After the meeting, O’Conner said he had been parking on the street since he moved into the home in 2007 and had specifically sought the council’s advice on parking and was told it would not be a problem.
Afterward, Nelson added the association had formed and was collecting dues from residents and issuing them parking places on a public street.
“There’s an economic exchange for parking spots on a public street without authorization from the town or a license from the town," Nelson said. "Many of these people have their own garages or driveways but get a spot because they have paid dues. The town’s interest is to provide parking for those who are landlocked with no vehicular access and we’re trying to make sure there is no misappropriation of spaces."
Nelson also requested the association provide the town with its articles of incorporation, certificate of good standing, and certificate of members.
In other business, Nelson congratulated the Fire and Police departments on their assistance during the holiday festivities, including the Porter parade, Midnight parade, and Lakefront fireworks.
Police Chief Jamie Spanier reported there was a traffic snafu the night of the Lakefront fireworks due to buses and walkers converging and he said there was more a delay than in past years.
Spanier felt the snag was a result of the fireworks occurring on a Friday night and he said his team was directing traffic two hours earlier than last year, and the exit occurred almost until midnight.