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Mayor Mary Broh and the Parking Controversy

By Ralph Geeplay

     Monrovia City Mayor, Mary Broh, this week met with members of the Liberian Assembly regarding the institution of parking tickets her city council introduced last year to skeptical lawmakers who questioned the fees motorists would pay if they are caught violating the city’s parking ordinance.

     The meeting, however, took a strange turn when Representative Thomas Koom who sits on the committee, complained that his sister’s business was losing money because she was paying too much money in parking fees.
     Representative Thomas Koom fumed that the L$500.00 and LD$50.00 his sister pays per hour for parking daily totaled about $150.00 to park her vehicle in front of the shop she rents in Central Monrovia, when he hardly brings in that amount monthly from her business.
     Another member on the committee, Representative Steve Carven also remarked that citizens would end up paying more in parking fees annually than their vehicles are worth, adding, “The fact that “John Brown” has a used car he bought for $1,000 does not mean he should spend $1,800 annually in parking fees.
     Mayor Mary Broh and her city council last year contracted City Park Management (CPM), co-owned by Barku Tubman, an enterprising Liberian entrepreneur and entertainment impresario to collect $50 per hour at strategic streets within the city center.
     Mayor Broh also told committee members that her office based the ordinance on a proposal to regulate traffic, and also as a way to introduce the ticket parking system in the City of Monrovia.
     According to Mayor Broh, portions of the proceeds will go toward youth employment, street maintenance, and the remaining funds will be retained by the city.
     It is widely believed that some lawmakers were unenthusiastic about the venture because of the Mayor Broh’s failure to brief them about the parking fees, and were also concerned about how she arrived at the amount she’s charging motorists.
     However, because of Mayor Broh’s failure to brief lawmakers about the parking ordinance, they therefore suspended the collection of parking fees for two weeks pending investigation.
     Presidential spokesman, Jerelinmick Piah, addressing the controversy said President Sirleaf would revoke the decision, and had spoken to the speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex Tyler about this issue. Mr. Piah also said “the president simply informed the speaker that she has reversed the decision, and it was not intended for him and his colleagues to agree.”
     Piah must have misspoken because a Liberian president cannot reverse the decision of the legislature in the absence of a veto, because a veto would constitute a binding resolution from both houses.

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