Scranton Council Weighing Parking Meter Changes, Mayor Salary Hike

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SCRANTON -- It was a heated night at Scranton’s City Council meeting Thursday night.

Council is looking at two hot button proposals: one, increasing the rates and hours of the city’s parking meters and, two, raising the mayor’s salary by $30,000.

“The residents of this city have a right to a council that has some idea what reality is and votes in reality,” said Lee Morgan, a Scranton resident.

Tempers flared at the council meeting as council was reviewing to controversial proposals that could be made law.

Council agreed the mayor’s salary deserves an upgrade, but not at that price.

Residents at the meeting also agreed.

“Do I think it should be increased? I do, but do I think a $30,000 increase at this time is appropriate? I don’t,” said Doug Miller, a Scranton resident.

However, it was the parking meter proposal that drew anger from the crowd.

The proposal would increase the rates from $1.00 an hour to $1.50 an hour. Meters would collect quarters from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. instead of 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Meters would now be operational on Saturdays, running six days a week.

The city would hire a private company to manage the meters for $10,000 a month.

Residents said this was just another plan cooked up by council to raise money.

“The city has many bad debts and we continue to have many bad debts,” said Andy Sbaraglia. “All your grandiose plans aren’t going to phase out, they’re just not going to work.”

“Council forced the parking authority into receivership, they’re borrowing tons of money,” said Morgan.

Council said they liked both proposals but said there needs to be some adjustments.

They passed the proposals in order to keep discussions on the table but both proposals still need final approval before they can be adopted.

Council plans to meet with the company that would manage meters next Thursday before their meeting.