Candidating weekend

17-Nov-2014 07:58 by 2 Comments

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One Geraldine resident, who did not wish to be named, said it was a "no-brainer" to have free parking and increase spending in shops."If they want people to ship into town, then it needs to be free.""I think [the council is] just being greedy," she said.Shirley Knight, 81, also of Geraldine, said the shops would benefit from increased numbers if parking was free."The shops could certainly do with more people coming in."Judith Cotton, of Timaru, said she was positive about the conversation starting but wished there was no paid parking at all."It is a start, but it should be free all of the time.

You should not have to pay for other people's wages."One employee at a clothing store,who did not want to be named, said it was tough to gauge if it would impact people's spending."I support it but I don't know if it would increase foot traffic."Timaru Mayor Damon Odey was contacted but could not be reached on Sunday.

Timaru District Council communications advisor Stephen Doran said the council could not comment officially on any policies suggested by candidates as it could indicate bias.

Many NYU Abu Dhabi students remember the familiar anticipation that leads up to Candidate Weekend — how, as soon as they received the email invitation, their thoughts were consumed by ideas about where they would be going and what they would be doing.

The weekend itself may be exciting, nerve-wracking, tiring or likely a combination of all of these emotions.

A Timaru man vying for a spot on the Timaru District Council is pushing for free parking in Timaru's CBD all weekend.

Independent council candidate Jock Anderson released a statement on Sunday to canvass public opinion to see if there was interest in changing the council's parking strategy."I've never fathomed why the council penalises folk with parking charges for coming to town on Saturday to do shopping, have a meal, a drink and enjoy themselves," Anderson said.

"Parking is free on Sunday, so why not also Saturday?"Charges apply on meters in the CBD from 9am to 1pm. Weekend parking charges had deterred Waimate dairy farmer Quintin Paul, 44, from coming to Timaru as other towns with more relaxed parking on weekends were close by."We just go to Oamaru instead. It should be free."He did not agree with paid parking on a Saturday but was also frustrated with the location and accessibility of Timaru's meters.Often he could not find where he was supposed to pay, he said."If you just left a shop after spending one or two thousand dollars, a parking ticket is the last thing you want to see."Timaru missed out on paying customers who could go other places for similar services, he said."We have a choice where we go, they [the council] don't," he said.Some Timaru business owners and manager were unsure of how effective the proposed change would be.Soul Surf and Skate Timaru manager Reuben Fowler said the idea of free parking was good but it could be a double-edged sword."It would be a good incentive for people to come in, but there could be greedy people who would take advantage."He said staff of businesses would likely fill up spots that were made free instead of paying for daylong parking.2n5 store owner Greig Newlands said he thought free parking would increase foot traffic on Stafford St."It definitely would not be a bad thing to bring people in," Newland said."The council does need to make revenue though and people do normally take advantage."Chamber of Commerce chief executive Wendy Smith said free parking was not something that that had been brought up for the chamber to discuss but saw the suggestion for change as a potential benefit."Free parking is always helpful to encourage more people into the CBD," she said.

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