Paso Robles needs to put paid parking on the ballot

April 29, 2024

Opinion by proponents of the Paso Robles paid parking referendum

To the 2,426 Paso Roblans who signed the referendum petition to place paid parking on the ballot, bravo and thank you for participating in the referendum process! The referendum was submitted and accepted by the city clerk on April 2.

Your message is clear, in large type, on the face of every page of the referendum: “Require Voter Approval of Paid Parking Zones Ordinance”  on the November Ballot.

The city has 30 business days from April 2 to verify the signatures to determine if there are a sufficient number of valid signatures – 1,127.

But your city staff and their attorneys intend to reject our referendum. They have consulted another law firm to block us on technical terms for not including 11-point type, for not indicating that we did not have and funders and for not noting that the petitioners were not paid. They do not plan to verify or count your 2,426 signatures.

However, the Paso Robles City Council works for you, the people, not for the city staff.

On May 7, your city council has the authority and the obligation to respect the intent of the referendum and to place paid parking on the ballot for a full vote of the people or to repeal it entirely.

Two council-members are listening to you. They support the intent of the referendum to place paid parking on the ballot. We salute them.

These other three council members have insisted on paid parking since October, when Mayor Steve Martin died, and when two of them were appointed to their positions. They are not listening to the people.

If they refuse to place paid parking on the ballot, or to repeal it, they will demonstrate their contempt for you, the referendum, and your right to petition your government.

If they do not want you to have a vote on paid parking in November, you will have no choice but to replace them at the election. Two of their seats are open in November.

We urge you to let your council-members ( know that you demand a ballot vote on paid parking or you will be voting for someone else for city council on that same ballot in November.

The proponents of the paid parking referendum are John Roush, Linda George, Sarah Barnes, Jennifer Roush Kloth, David Nelson and Coy Barnes.


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The great Paso parking boondoggle needs to be resolved. I suggest the city hire a planning intern from Cal Poly to survey the downtown businesses owners to determine a reasonable time limit on parking and hours of effect in and around the area. Then adopt a new ordinance to enforce timed parking limits. Next hire a contract parking enforcement company to provide enforcement.

You show contempt for the law by submitting illegitimate, illegal, documents in your petition and then complain when the City staff follows the law regarding them, while begging council members to ignore it.

If the staff did accept your docs, what are the chances that those “cut corners” would result in a lawsuit from the other side? 100%. It is cheaper and smarter for them to reject your poorly assembled documents.

Weird how all of the sudden the city cares about legalities. Let’s be real, it has absolutely nothing to do with font size and everything to do with the pissing contest the city wants to keep going so they can continue to completely ignore what their constituents want.

How true, the city ignored state law and enacted the parking fee without an ordinance, now they retaliate by hiring a law firm to pick apart the petition. Was the concern for legality stifled by greed?

Just vote the carpetbaggers out of office, they don’t represent the public or the businesses owners of Paso so be done with them.

I hate loopholes, but, if the regulations for the certification is clear you are under an obligation to comply. That relates to all of us in every walk of life. By giving them an out they seized upon the opportunity. That’s life. I’d suggest getting it done correctly.

Were the “regulations” made clear prior to the petition being offered?

Exactly who would think that a citizens complaint, must be typed “precisely in this manner, on this particular paper, using this lettering style”, in order for it to be legitimate? Nobody, except a bureaucrat with no concern for citizens.