To cheers. the Town Board voted to remove a proposal to add parking meters to municipal parking lots from the 2023 budget Thursday night.
Officials who supported the meter plan said it would have brought at least $1 million of revenue to the town and filled a budget gap, but the idea brought a storm of protest from residents and business owners.
The decision on meters was offered as an amendment to a resolution on the town budget. Councilwoman Joan Cergol and Councilmen Sal Ferro and Dr. David Bennardo have questioned the wisdom of adding extra costs when residents are already experiencing stress caused by high inflation. Cergol also said the meter plan had been added to what she thought was a budget process in need of change, since members of the Town Board only learned of the proposal in September, although budgeting work had been going on since June.
Councilman Sal Ferro, who is in his first term, said the meters had brought the largest number of emails he’d seen on one topic.
Town Supervisor Ed Smyth has proposed adding meters to lots at New/Green Street, lower Elm Street, Gerard Street, Clinton Street, East Carver Street; Cold Spring Harbor Village and Woodbine Marina in Northport.
Smyth said 33 people had signed up to talk on the topic, but few did once the proposal was killed off. But a few did, including well-known children’s entertainer Patricia Shih, who sang her opposition to the meters with new lyrics for Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi song that includes lines about paving over paradise.