Assembly committee advances parking manager position request

The full Juneau Assembly will soon decide if it will appropriate $50,000 for a parking manager position to oversee downtown parking.

The Assembly Finance Committee narrowly approved advancing the proposal Wednesday night.

“There is a lot of administration if you want a professionally managed parking program,” said Bob Bartholomew, the city’s finance director.

The position would be responsible for the budget and financial aspects of downtown parking, managing the contracts and facilities, coordinating with stakeholders and handling the administrative needs of everything related to downtown Juneau parking.

Some Assembly members were not convinced the city should devote $50,000 to a parking manager when there are other pressing needs, such as the police department moving five officers to airport duty starting next month.

“We have other needs coming before us as a city,” Assembly Member Randy Wanamaker said. “Why don’t we have a parking coordinator or parking officer? Why does it have to be a parking manager? I don’t see that we have to start at the manager level.”

The work this position would do is currently being divided amongst employees from different departments, so putting a single person in the lead would be more efficient and produce better results, Bartholomew said.

“Some of these duties are being done — not all — but it’s not sustainable,” he said. “We can’t keep pulling people from their day jobs.”

The funding would come partly from a Parking in Lieu fund which comes from developer fees, but mostly from the Downtown Parking Fund.

City officials would have to appropriate funding in the next budget for the position to continue past this fiscal year.

Contact reporter Matt Woolbright at 523-2243 or at matthew.woolbright@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/reportermatt.

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