Ludington council sets aside Stearns Park parking fee topic, for now.

April 24, 2017

stearns_park_ludington_beachLudington council sets aside Stearns Park parking fee topic, for now. 

#MasonCountyNews #LudingtonNews.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief. 

LUDINGTON — Ludington City Council is setting aside the idea of charging parking fees at Stearns Park, however the issue may be brought up again in the future, Mayor Kaye Holman said. The council spoke in length during its regular meeting Monday about the recommendation by the city’s Parks Committee that the council should not pursue the concept of charging for parking at the popular destination.

During the meeting, two city park employees spoke in favor of the parking fees while two residents and a non-resident spoke against the proposal.

The topic has brought up a considerable amount of opposition since it was first brought up publicly in February. On April 18 the city’s Parks Committee voted unanimously to recommend the council not pursue the concept of charging for parking.

The city began discussing the topic in November during a Finance Committee meeting reviewing the 2017, 2018, and 2019 budgets when City Manager John Shay pointed out the city’s general fund may face deficits in the future . See related story

In February, Councilor Brandy Henderson had posted the question about the parking fees on Facebook. That question resulted in a “viral” response from residents and non-residents via Facebook and other forms of communication to several councilors.

During Monday’s meeting, Councilor Les Johnson admonished Henderson for posting the question.

“This has really caused some problems and has caused some negativity for some of the councilors,” Johnson said. “I would like to say in the future a councilor should not put out on Facebook or any other social media until there is something concrete to put out to the tax payers. I just don’t think that it’s fair.”

“I have been familiar with how the council works and I know my job here is to represent what residents in the City of Ludington want done,” Henderson, who is a member of the Parks Committee, responded, adding that she disagreed that posting a question to constituents on social media is considered causing trouble. “I obviously am someone who utilizes social media among other tools to gather feedback from residents. That’s how I choose to communicate with my constituents and I absolutely respect your opinion but disagree.”

Councilor Mike Krauch, chairman of the Parks Committee, said the idea was never formerly proposed.

This story and photograph copyrighted © 2017, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent. 

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