Library, library, more than a parking space
WISN-AM’s Mark Belling had an interesting segment on Wednesday’s broadcast about the employee parking at the Waukesha Public Library. It was so interesting even I was mentioned. But seriously, Belling wonders in what other possible business would the customers have to scramble for parking while the employees have spots reserved for them.
The employee/customer parking problem at the Waukesha Public Library was brought to Belling’s attention because a customer of the library was unable to park in the customer parking area in front of the library. That’s probably not unusual, and was the case the day I went to hear Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner hold one of his town hall meetings there. The customer parked in the side lot, the employee parking, and was given a ticket.
Belling contacted the library director who wasn’t interested in changing anything. Belling also reached out to Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima. Not surprisingly, Scrima didn’t call Belling back but sent an email instead. The content of the email was a bureaucratic shrug.
Belling has been contacted by other people since that aired on Wendesday, including an email from a listener who told how she was yelled at by a library employee for parking in the employee parking even though she had two small children and it was raining. The children were in a stroller and the handicap ramp conveniently leads to the employee parking instead of the public parking.
Belling told the story on Thursday’s broadcast, and mentioned that he reached out to Scrima again.
Scrima gave Belling another non-committal e-mail shrug.
Robert Heinlein once wrote, “In a mature society, ‘civil servant’ is semantically equal to ‘civil master.'” Library customers are usually called “patrons,” meaning that if it wasn’t for the customers the library would not be there. Instead of being grateful for the patrons, the patrons are the lower caste.
If there is a concern about the employees having some place to park on days when the library is experiencing heavy traffic, I have a common sense solution.
There is an underutilized city of Waukesha parking structure just .2 miles away, just four minutes on foot. Have the library employees park there. The city could even give them each a sticker or a pass to put in their windshields so they don’t have to pay.
Just for fun I decided to drive over to the city hall in Waukesha. To our municipal government’s credit, there are actually ten parking spots reserved for “visitors,” seven in the front and three in the back. However, they are not the closest spots to the door.
The mayor, the city administrator, the city treasurer and the city finance director all have reserved spots.
The city also has five spots reserved for the city planning department right next to the back door. Gee, who planned that?
Finally, there’s a whole row of spots reserved for the residents of Buena Vista Avenue while the street is torn up with construction. Which proves somebody at the city thinks about the residents.