Letter: Where’s the accountability in parking fiasco? | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Where’s the accountability in parking fiasco?

I'm rather surprised at the lack of interest or furor over the recent admission by the Aspen Parking Department that it has lost more than $1 million in revenue. I read Paul Menter's column in the Daily News and can't wrap my head around his math.

But let's just take August, when the Parking Department claims it lost $56,000 (I'm just using an even number) in parking revenue due to the use of zeroed-out gift cards. If we divide that by 26, the number of parking days in August, that's a loss of $2,153.85 per day. Divide $2,153.85 by eight hours, and that would equal 269 cars that are parking each and every day of the month for free!

How do 269 people find out that the parking meters don't immediately charge their credit or debit cards? (I had no clue that they worked that way! It never would have occurred to me.) Only the people who installed them (the Parking Department) would know it and understand that you could park for free using a gift card that had a zero balance. So was this information leaked out to a few friends to exploit and it got out of hand? How many parking meters does Aspen have? How the heck do you cost the city this much money and still have a job? These are just a few of the questions that have yet to be answered.

Gail Mason

Aspen