Proposed parking fee moratorium voted down by LUCC members

Andy Dolan

LUCC members voted down legislation drafted by current LUCC president Cole DeLaney that would have temporarily eliminated the registration fee for student parking pending further investigation into the fee’s utilization.According to current legislation regarding the $35 per term parking fee, “Parking fees will be placed with monies from Campus Services into a separate parking enforcement account in order to hire someone to monitor the enforcement.”

DeLaney took issue with this legislation because the money generated by the fee, $12075 a year, was not placed into a separate fund specifically concerned with parking enforcement. The legislation proposed by DeLaney states, “For the duration of the 2002-03 school year, all lottery fees mentioned in E.1.01.a shall be waived pending a review by the LUCC Student Welfare Committee of the efficacy of the enforcement mentioned in E.1.01.c.”

This would have amounted to just over $8000 being waived during the remainder of the current school year. The primary argument against the proposed legislation was the fact that the $8000 had already been budgeted. If the parking fees were not collected for second and third terms, the money would necessarily come from elsewhere. Bill Hodgkiss, Vice President for Business Affairs and Administration, suggested that reducing the budget by that amount would potentially result in a reduction of pay for campus security officers.

DeLaney stated that the university should not assume to take this money for granted. LUCC governs the use of the 115 student parking spots in question, and, according to the parking fee waiver position paper drafted by DeLaney, the responsibility includes, “regulating the distribution of spots, enforcement of parking policies, and fees.” DeLaney also states in the position paper that, according to many students, current fees do not offer sufficient results for the price paid. Therefore, LUCC has a right to suspend the fee until an acceptable level of enforcement is shown, and the university should not be allowed to budget the money for reasons other than parking enforcement.

Several LUCC members voiced concerns that cutting the already budgeted money would, in all likelihood, result in poorer enforcement for the remainder of the year. The majority of members felt that the possible negative consequences of cutting the fee for this year outweighed the perceived problems of the current fee usage. Council members believed that the Student Welfare Committee should examine the effectiveness and appropriateness of the university’s budgeting of the parking fee, but that this inquiry would be sufficient and did not warrant a fee suspension at this time.

Although the council generally agreed that further investigation was required concerning the usage of the parking fee, they voted down the proposed legislation. The final vote was four yays, ten nays, and five abstentions.