St. Petersburg mayoral candidates discuss parking meters
ST. PETERSBURG -- Former City Council member Kathleen Ford said Friday she will eliminate all parking meters if elected mayor.
There are 1,450 parking meters in the city, all downtown.
We asked the 10 mayoral candidates for mayor what they would do about downtown's dreaded parking meters. Here are their responses.
Former Council member Bill Foster said he would require meters to be enforced from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. He would eliminate meter enforcement at night and during the weekends so long as downtown businesses do not object.
Business owner Scott Wagman said he would enforce uniform parking hours throughout downtown. Right now, some meters are enforced through 6 p.m., and others are enforced through 11 p.m. He would stop enforcement at 6 or 7 p.m.
He would also offer change machines so that patrons can easily feed the meters.
Council member Jamie Bennett said he would extend the maximum parking time from two hours to three hours. "The parking meters are necessary to help keep people moving," he said.
Former council member Larry Williams said he would heavily consider eliminating the parking meters, but wouldn't promise to do so without more information. "I hate the parking meters, and everyone I know hates the parking meters," he said.
Student Richard Eldridge said he would eliminate the parking meters.
Political activist Ed Helm, homeless advocate Paul Congemi, corporate executive Deveron Gibbons and restaurateur John Warren could not immediately be reached for comment.
Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer