Letters to the Editor

Reader calls for caution in parking plan

Dear Editor,
I have read in the last couple of issues about the proposed solutions to the “parking problem” in the downtown area of the village (“Paid parking plan paused,” March 15).
As an owner of an office building on Main Street, I am concerned the City Council is on the wrong track.
First, if the problem is a lack of parking, government should not twist that into an opportunity to raise more money. It is not typical that governments do, or should, have paid parking to raise money; then it is just another tax. Parking meters, etc. are used to manage parking to promote businesses and for traffic control.
Second, if the owners of private property now want to charge to re-open their lot for parking, that is the logical first step to a fix. That may be enough, particularly when the closing that precipitated made a concern more of a problem.
We are fortunate to have a thriving downtown that benefits all the businesses and increases the tax base. The council should take incremental steps, such as enforcement and recognizing private lots may be turned into paid parking, before it puts in place a grand plan that could backfire to stifle the downtown area, which also serves to give our community much of its character.
Neil Wallace
Independence Township

A call for more info on school start

Dear Editor,
Last weekend my wife read on Facebook the district might be changing the 2017-2018 school year start date to the week before Labor Day (“Schools to start before Labor Day?” March 15).
This was the first that we’ve heard of this. We received no prior notification of this from where we would expect – Clarkston Community Schools, no email or direct mail. I would have expected a mailed letter, not an email, sent to all district parents regarding a change of this magnitude.
We have already scheduled a family vacation the week prior to Labor Day. We would not have planned a vacation for this week had we known the school start date could change. All district families should have received early notice of this through the proper communication, not social media.
This potential start date change effects my family even more in that my daughter, our oldest child, will be starting middle school in the fall.
We certainly would not want her to miss the first week of school, in a brand new school with learning the surroundings, schedules, teachers, new friendships, etc.
My wife and I both work full-time, and vacations need to be planned well in advance to coordinate with job responsibilities and our co-workers schedules. Sometimes it’s not an easy task to find an available week that is approved for both parents.
I don’t have any issue with the district moving the start date, but please offer respect and consideration to properly inform all parents in advance for planning purposes.
We ask that you do not implement this change with the 2017-2018 school year, as this would negatively impact the start of my daughter’s middle school year. Please provide Clarkston families important information like this in advance, so consideration and planning can be made accordingly for future years. Thank you.
Clarkston school parents
Names withheld at authors’ request

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