ACHTUNG: This is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.
It was interesting to observe that the parking lot to the immediate south of Aqua In Vino on South Main in Wayland remains closed to the public.
Aqua In Vino owner Arne Rodriguez last month shut it down for public use because the City Council voted to drop its snow plowing services for the lot. City crews had performed the service for an undetermined period, under the auspices of the Downtown Development Authority, which decided recently not to pay for plowing a privately-owned lot.
To be sure, Mr. Rodriguez pointed out correctly that the lot is used often by the public, including city employees, because of its close proximity to businesses along South Main Street and its closeness to the Henika Public Library.
City officials, however, have said that as a policy matter it is wrong for a taxpayer-funded service to be applied to a private business, unless an agreement is reached for some kind of compensation. Unlike the Texas legislator columnist Molly Ivins wrote about, it is not “the purpose of government to create a healthy business climate.”
Government indeed should stay out of the way of the exercise of free enterprise, but its should not use public funds for private business unless it is accompanied by some kind of compensation.
And if city employees and some local citizens are inconvenienced by a slightly longer walk after getting out of their vehicles, so be it.
I sincerely believe Mr. Rodriguez may be throwing the baby out with the bath water because many of the people who park in that lot are customers for Aqua In Vino. So he may be hurting his business as well because of his anger with City Hall.
Furthermore, it was pointed out that parking access in the city downtown is more than adequate, particularly with the huge parking lot near the old Harding’s Market on West Superior.
I suggest most sincerely that Mr. Rodriguez and city officials come up with a mutually satisfactory agreement to benefit both parties.