, Gloucester, MA

December 2, 2012

Letter: Downtown meters far from welcoming

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

This is an open letter to Mayor Carolyn Kirk.

I wish to express my displeasure with our visit to downtown Gloucester on Saturday, Oct. 20.

It was a beautiful day and we decided to take a ride to Gloucester since we had never been there, but heard some great things about it. After a quick ride along the water, we ventured on to Main Street.

Looking at the quaint shops, we decided to park and shop. As we are very much in favor of the small business owner, who is slowly becoming extinct in this country, we wanted to support them. We parked and put some money in the meter, thinking we would not be that long. Well, as it turned out, we were so impressed with the shops, we purchased several items and spent more time in them than we expected. We also stopped at a lovely cafe and had lattes and pastries. When we got back to the car, there was a ticket on my windshield.

How you can justify giving tickets to consumers who are visiting your downtown area to shop and support your local merchants, is beyond me? What do you think we were doing downtown on a Saturday afternoon? We were there to support the downtown merchants.

I would suggest that in the future, you change your practice of ticketing visitors to your city on the weekend, even if their meters have “expired.” Perhaps they will come back.

The $15 I paid for my ticket is certainly not going to put me in the poor house, but it’s the principle and we left having the impression of not being welcome in Gloucester. I shall never visit your city again and will definitely let everyone know that they are not welcome either.

I have a question for the merchants — Where is your Downtown Association and what are they doing for you?

Also, I know it’s a silly question, but why does Gloucester have a company in Tarrytown, N.Y., handle the payments on tickets issued by the city? Why not a Massachusetts company or city hall?