Tonawanda News — The City of Tonawanda Common Council voted to temporarily abolish the summer overnight parking ban at its regular meeting Tuesday night after years of discussion.
“I’ve sat up here enough times when this issue has came up ...but past councils have never agreed to do this,” Council President Carleton Zeisz said, referencing the many residents who have asked for a change of the law.
The resolution, which expires at the end of October, allows parking on city streets between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. between April 1 and Oct. 30. The former rule forbade parking between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. between Dec. 1 and March 31, and between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. between April 1 and Nov. 30.
The measure passed in a 4-1 vote, and Zeisz was the only council member to vote against the resolution.
“I guess my problem is that somehow, we survived these past 60 years like this,” he said. “I’ve said before I’m not in favor of it, and I’m still not in favor of it. Some of it is driven by my own opinion, some of it is driven by what I have heard from department heads in the past.”
Last month, the council defeated a similar resolution that did not have a sunset clause in a 3-2 vote. The body failed to approve that resolution after Police Chief William Strassburg voiced his objection to the measure.
“From a police perspective, it’s not the end all and be all, but it’s a tool we have,” he said last month, noting that records from overnight violations often aid in burglary and larceny investigations. “A lot of things come out of illegally parked cars ... if something looks suspicious, (officers) can run it, and it leads to stolen vehicles and all sorts of other things.”
Other council members and residents spoke in favor of the change Tuesday night.