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January 17, 2006


Of Course

I don't envision the Mayor giving up the revenue generated by the meters. Although, the projections given by whom ever when the budget was being pieced together sure fell short of expectations. That sounds like an accoutablility issue to me. There are now two accoutablity issues this Mayor has to address and they are both within the walls of Traffic & Parking.

This is too big for the Mayor to roll back. Joe is Joe and won't change his ways. He probably will use his veto powers on this one.

Ron Newman

The resolution to roll these back passed unanimously 11-0 in the Board of Aldermen last Thursday. I hope the mayor would listen to this.


I don't see the problem with increasing the cost of parking, so long as drivers are willing to pay. Maybe we need a better way to price discriminate - increase the price of the regular meters but have some parking spots which are always free. Or if demand for parking spots is really strong, a developer should come in and build a parking garage.

Ron Newman

The issues I heard raised at the BOA meeting were:

- the meters only take quarters, so if all you have are dollar bills, nickels, and dimes, you can't pay the meter

- the meters limit parking to one hour instead of two.

These may be more important issues than the price increase.


that last comment coming from a blockhead that rides a bike and who would rather ride(if he does happen to drive a car) around the block for an hour looking for meters that still have time left. don't deny it , I've seen you do it. YOU BLOCKHEAD.

Ron Newman

You seem to be confusing me with someone else. When I did own a car, it had a Somerville residential parking permit, so I had very little reason to ever park at a meter.

Bobby----Let it go--- Curtis Street


Give me a break will ya! Stop playing every side of the coin. Your days are numbered. Forget about the parking and focus more on the tufts students that are keeping me up all night.


Is there any kind of parking study available for the city or any of the business districts? Anything that provides more than individual casual observations? Obviously the aldermen are going to vote to roll meter fees back -- what politician wouldn't want to be the one known for giving money out? But has anything beyond casual observation gone into considering any of this? The city has engineers, right? Put them to work and then come up with a plan a little more thought out than "cheap parking everywhere is always best."

parking headaches

The problem is that if parking is too cheap, people will park there all day. People will park and go to work, whether they work in Somerville or in Boston. Davis Square does have many spaces alloted for 'business parking' during the day, so why is someone saying that Johnny D's has no parking? They have no customer parking, but should be able to park in the business spots. Also, the more streets that institute permit parking leave people with no alternatives. People should be aware, though, that 'feeding the meter' all day can also lead to tickets as that, I believe, is against the ordinances, also. Restricting parking always hurts business. I used to go to many places in Cambridge to shop or eat, but do it very rarely now, because there is absolutely no where to park!

Carla DeLellis

The cost of parking is just one part of the parking dilemma. The quarter only meters are very inconvenient. With the number of metermaids/men patrolling the area, you do not have time to get change at a local business or to your car within five minutes of being expired without receiving a fine. How many $20. tickets will you get before you bring your business elsewhere? Then consider that the availability of parking in Davis Sq on a Fri. or Sat night is pretty much non-existent. It is a wise city who recognizes drivers are consumers bringing much needed revenue into the city and its businesses. They are also consumers with choices of other cities or big box store parking lots. We need more parking in Davis Square and a more welcoming convenient way to park throughout the city.

Carla DeLellis

In response to the comment stating there is available parking for employees of businesses - unfortunately is not accurate. There is a lottery in Davis Square for those spots which have many more applicants then spots. These business spots are also geared (priced) for the business owner with one car who works Mon - Fri 9 - 5. Not the waitresses, bartenders, and other service people who make up a huge part of the area's workforce. Paying $1.00 an hour, or worse, a $20. fine is very difficult for these folks. At one time they could walk to work, but the rents in the area no longer allow that for most of them.


If Curtatone doesn't put the meters back to
"CAMBRIDGE RATES!" ($.25 per half hour) he will lose the next election hands down. Everyone connected to him will lose.
If he tries to push the $1.00 per bag of trash pick-up
he will be driven out of office BEFEORE the next election!

right on

You are absolutely right on that one groggie.
Parking affects most residents and businesses in Somerville. There are now many meters where there weren't before. To add insult, they are expensive for our Somerville.
Putting up a velvet rope at a nightclub might work, but putting a velvet rope across a town is just wrong and not productive.
Curtatone is 'connected' to all things parking & towing. Let's hope he sees the error of his ways and is man enough to change it.

Help Me With the Math

With the cost of meters going up, does this mean there will be more money to steal from Traffic and Parking? Over a month has passed and we're no closer to knowing who stole the money than we were before. Where is the accountability Joe promised? I want someone's head to roll and soon. Otherwise people are going to take 'accountability' to Joe in the next election.

Parking gripes

It's interesting.....the T is supposed to make Davis Square so accessible. Why then the big debate over parking meter prices, and parking for employees of local businesses. I thought when you had the T nobody needed to drive, they could all hop on the train! Hint: When you work in an urban environment, there's usually little or no parking provided. I hope those in the Union Square area see what they're in for.......


We should raise the fines for non residents who park on our neighborhood streets. For instance, the Abbey lounge is in an area zoned for residents not businesses. Their patrons park on our strees, leave late at night, continually urinate, fight, scream, and break bottles on our sidewalks and streets (and even run up our driveways between our houses). Plus the number of break-ins to cars, hit-n-runs and cars getting keyed is substiantilly up on Dickinson Street. Can we tow non-residents who park on our street? When will the town make decisions for the Residents and not for businesses like the Abbey lounge?


When the residetns start voting.

good point

regarding this last comment "When residents start voting" four simple words that are correct....the only thing a politican understands is votes period. You just need to see the percentage of voters that are voting as oppose to the number of registered voters there are. If you don't vote you can't complain should be the law. Regarding the meter hikes this is just another way of taxation so Curtatone can hire more campaign workers for future campaigns. This just may be the beginning of the end of his administration, the turning point that we can all look back at in 2 years when he's defeated like he defeated Kelly-Gay.

Of Course

Well, I think we in Ward 5 near the Armory will be in the same boat as others with a commercial establishment with amenities such as a liquor license, planted smack in the middle of a residential area.

Our parking is bad enough and to add the volume of what might be coming will be an atrocity. It is bad enough with the parking problems we have now, add the Armory activity and it will be worse.

The Mayor has done everything possible to increase every type of tax he could. I feel for the commercial industry in as much as what was just done to their disposal fees. It has nearly tripled over a year’s time. For one vender who paid $130 last year, now pays $475 with this years renewal. Assembly Square Mall really did what it was suppose to do right? I guess we will hear straight from the horses’ mouth on Thursday at the next “Pony Show”, BOA meeting.

Here We Go Again

By 5 PM today there will probably be another $200,000 in snow emergency funds in the city coffers.

By 10PM "someone" will realize that the back door was left "unlocked" ;) (yeah, right).

By 10:10 that "someone" will be finished rifling through the "unlocked" safe in the "unlocked" office. All of which is guarded by the alarm someone 'forgot" to turn on.

By 7AM tommorrow the first worker to arrive will realize that something is amiss and start informing their supervisors.

By 9:30 AM the Director of Traffic and Parking will stroll in. Important meetings at City Hall don't you know (not that he attended).

By 12PM the final tally will be in the neighborhood of $10-12,000 out the "open" back door never to be seen again.

By 1PM the Traffic and Parking management will be quaking in their boots, "Oh no! We have to call Joe and let him know! He might throw the dreaded 'A' word at us! ACCOUNTABILITY."

By 2PM the Somerville Police will arrive on-scene to investigate the "disappearance" of the money but with strict orders not to probe too deep. These are all political hacks in the city and we don't want to offend their sense of dignity. (I know, I could barely keep from laughing when I wrote it).

By sometime the next morning Tommy "I coulda been a Contendah" Champion will be issuing a press release for his embarrassed boss stating the facts as he knows them and stating that there will be a solution to this crime. (Speaking of Tommy-Boy, have you noticed how little has been heard from him since he was slapped around the pages of this site a month ago?)

By sometime next month, there will be no solution in sight and an outraged Alderman Bill Roche will address the BOA: "This is an outrage! We need to someone non-union hack, preferably and exclusively one of my family members, into a high paying job at Traffic and Parking to oversee the other hacks that work there!"

The crime will be nearly forgotten except by the dedicated readers of the Somerville News Website. Only to be brought up again and again during future elections.

Those same readers will likely press JN for an investigative story on the breaks and ask that he publish a list of all of the key holders that have access to the keys and codes at Traffic and Parking because maybe, just maybe, the door wasn't left unlocked after business hours. Maybe it was left unlocked on the way out in the middle of the night.

Breaking News???

I think I may have "out scooped" the News. I just received a call that the Mayor has fired his top man... MB???!!!


Hey Somerville it true that the Mayor fired MB??????

Of Course

If that is true, does it mean the Mayor has to give back the blue pick-up Truck?

James Norton

You people are funny.

MB is still gainfully employed, according to City Hall, so the blue pickup truck is still a go.

Now that Tony L isn't the next best thing to attack, here come the shots into Shelton. Talk about needing a hobby. Just moving from one target to the next in order to deflect interest from some of the other empty-headed PEZ-dispenser mongoloids running around this city whose only claim to fame is that they're either politically connected (who isn't) or hooray - they're the first generation in their respective gene pools to have opposible thumbs.

I don't even think I've met the guy, but from what I hear, Shelton's a smart guy who can obviously write (sounds alot like me). So regardless of whether or not you like him, he deserves a little respect.

And listen, if you're going to stir the pot, pick a day when people aren't either stuck in the house because of the weather or try a little lower on the totem-pole than MB in the Mayor's office, where it's not so easily verified and people scratch their heads for a few days instead of a few hours.'

Hey - what do I know.


Of Course

Great job Ace reporter JN. I agree with the scratching of the head idea. It would be nice to get a teaser in there that would last a few days.

James Norton

Of Course -

Don't inadvertently start stirring the pot again - I'm definitely NOT the person that posts as "Ace Reporter". I wish I had that much time and was that creative. Neither apply in my case. Witty, yes. Creative, no.

Enjoy the weather!


Ron Newman

Would you prefer to be "King Reporter" or perhaps "Jack Reporter" ?

James Norton

Actually, I prefer to be called Jamie or James. I don't report for the paper, I write my column, contribute to Newstalk with about 20 other people (seriously) and I try to watch this weblog when I can.

That's about it for involvement. We have a full staff of reporters and contributers for news stories and other stuff, not me.





Seems like the week to bash the Fourth Estate, n'est pas mon petit fleur.

I loved the one about "opposible thumbs". How many Central Hill readers do you think went flying for the dictionary after reading that one?

Keep that golden throat covered up. It's getting cold outside. We here in Cambriville need your voice.

With Timbers Shivering,


street cleaning

Does anybody know if street cleaning will change end dates from Nov. 30 to Dec 31st?
And will they enforce it if there's snow on the ground with no street sweeping happening?


Ssssshhh, don't give the parking department any ideas. Can you imagine? They'd probably figure out a way to hand out simultaneous parking tickets for blocking snow removal and street cleaning.

The guy at Pat's has smoke coming out of his ears trying to figure out how he could tow the same car twice.

"Heavy Artillery  Unit"

You got to remember something, for every car that Pat's tows for the city. Pat's is contracted to give $30.00 per towed vehicle that they do tow back to the city. So the city is not only making that hefty $100.00 parking ticket from their ticket ordered robots, they also get a piece of the towing action per their contract without even getting their hands dirty. So if the traffic PCO's are the city's "meter Nazis", then Pat's is the city's ordered "Heavy Artillery Unit" AKA "Towing Nazis"

street cleaning

Tricky, the street cleaning change is listed on the minutes of the traffic dept. on the City of Somerville website. But you sure are right about simultaneous tickets.
I still think the Nov. 30th date is a bit too late in the season for street cleaning. Do they even clean the streets in November?

Ron Newman

Something else we can blame on global warming?


You people are such unbelievable complainers! Every city has a traffic Department and every city has a Tow company that they contract with. Weather you like or dislike the cities policies these individuals that tag and tow our cars are under agreement to do so and they are just doing their jobs. Whatever the city policy's are they have to follow, abide and carry out that order as directed to. We are lucky and blessed to have such an efficient Traffic Department and Towing department. Don't start bashing the meter maids or tow truck operators! They do whatever they are told to do, buy you the public and your city's policies. If you don't like the policies that they have to follow, raise the issue. Form a committee or forum civilly and try to have it changed to meet the city's need until everyone is comfortable. As you noticed I said "comfortable' not satisfied! Because no matter what you do, you can't please and satisfy everybody all the time!

Hey Why Not

Norcross I totaly agree with one exception.

Show me the MONEY that was stolen from the traffic department.

Cambriville News


From the Brewing Kitchen.........


First, start with a pot that is too small for all the ingredients. Then add:

1/4 limited amount of time

10 pounds of pure bullshit

1/8 teaspoon of truth

Bring the mixture to a boil while ignoring the bad smell in the air.

Let this simmer and stew until it boils over.

Start all over again. This time try eliminating the 10 pounds of pure bullshit.

Next time in Legal Briefs............

"Are Background Checks on Judicial Nominees Necessary?" by J. Curtatone

street cleaning

Question: Who gets the bid on towing in Somerville? Is it put through a bid system?


To "Street cleaning" Like everything in government yes it is a bid and you have to meet the requirements on the compliance bidding form. The same way you would bid for trash pickup, printing, or any other contractor services that you provide for the city. In this case you need a very large impound yard, many trucks, top insurance vehicle coverage, workman's comp, liability ins and a huge working crew that will work in any climate twenty four hours a day.

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