SEA BRIGHT: While the borough's new paid parking system is brining in money, it still has its critics, and now there may be some changes coming in the next month.
Councilman Charles Rooney said that paid parking has brought in over $40,000 in revenue in its first few weeks and has caused more people who are actually going to the beach to park in beach parking areas.
"We saw 161 seasonal badge holders in 2015, this year we saw 377," Rooney said about a 9-day period in the Anchorage parking lot. "That is what paid parking does; it opens the spaces for the people who want to go to the beach and want to come into our businesses and spend money."
That said, Councilman Brian Kelly said the council promised that it would review the system and its effectiveness based on both positive and negative feedback.
Mayor Dina Long said has had difficulty "being patient with" or "taking ownership of" the paid parking system. As a result, she has come up with "alternative recommendations" for paid parking that she believes will address the concerns raised by businesses, residents and guests.
"Some may see this as me catering to the squeaky wheels but I see it as prioritizing our longterm viability in our central business district," Long said.
"My hope is that we as a governing body will find a way to work cooperatively and openly with each other on this and the many big decisions that we have upcoming," she said. "At the end of the day, what matters to me is that we achieve the greatest possible good for the greatest number of people."