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Letters to the Herald

Parking garage meeting an embarrassment


To recap the final episode in New Hope’s parking garage saga: On Aug. 15, members of borough council’s recently formed “new” garage committee presented an analysis of the flaws in plans for a garage made by the “old” garage committee.

They argued that the garage would be far too expensive and called for immediate cessation of all efforts to build it.

During the comments afterward, state Sen. Steve Santarsiero made a surprise appearance. (His office had promised $1.75 million to New Hope toward the garage.) He attempted to speak — and finally did — but the audience first booed and hissed for an extended period and demanded he leave. The state senator had supported our borough.

It turns out that he and his staff had studied the numbers in the new committee’s analysis and found them to be flawed and exaggerated. He also noted that it was likely that additional state funds could be made available for the garage in the future. At this point, the two cost assessments differed by millions.

The suggestion was made to continue the discussion at the next meeting, allowing a month for everyone to examine both analyses and draw conclusions.

Instead, the new committee called for an immediate vote, in violation of the Sunshine Act, since a vote was not mentioned on the agenda. Nevertheless, audience members stood and shouted and shook their fists and the vote went forward. The garage was permanently canceled and the $1.75 million was returned to the state. What a spectacular way to burn our bridges, New Hope.

Kristen R Yount, New Hope