Ward 1 and Ward 3 are experiencing more parking zone and parking meter violations as well as just simply illegal parking, like blocked driveways. Much of this is happening because Republic restaurant is so successful, along with Ace Hardware and Roscoe's in addition to our other businesses. More parking congestion will presumably come to Ward 1 when Busboys & Poets opens. These are real problems that we should try to address.
However, I don't believe adding staff is the right strategy at this time. If we are going to add staff to our police department, I would add personnel to do investigation work, patrolling, community outreach/victim's assistance, or crime data analysis (in that order). Between 2012 and 2013, home burglaries went up by 71% in Takoma Park, as described in the report here. I proposed an amendment (to the amendment) to change the proposal to focus on adding this capacity instead of parking enforcement, but the amendment did not get support.
From Ward 2 residents, I most often hear irate stories about the parking tickets you have gotten while running into the post office for five minutes, or parking at a broken meter. A new half-time parking enforcement person may add 1,000 additional parking tickets, many of which will be given to city residents.
And I think a new staff person is not the right 'next step' to address the problem, added to our Police Department which will now have its biggest staff in any budget year I can find on record. I would have preferred the police spend a little time visiting the businesses that we think are associated with the problem and letting them know that existing officers will be doing aggressive ticketing patrols during busy nights and to try to work with the businesses to get them to help us address the problem first.