THIS is an open letter to the Mayor of Port of Spain.
Adam Smith Square is not only ideally located, but it is also one of the best, if not the best maintained, public areas in and around Port of Spain. It is therefore not surprising that the Love Movement Choir would have, as they have done in the past, chosen to put on their free public Christmas concert last Saturday evening there.
Unfortunately, however, for any activity at Adam Smith Square, the only parking available is street-parking. This is where an otherwise extremely pleasant evening turned into one of horror and stress for those citizens who availed themselves of an opportunity to come out and hear vintage Christmas and other clean songs
The marauding wrecker crews, in a manner reminiscent of yesteryear's brigands and pirates, were amassing small fortunes at the expense of the attendees at the concert. It was so sad to see some of the folks, among whom were the elderly, come out to enjoy an evening of fun, just have their vehicles towed away by most callous individuals.
Now, I am not one to condone illegal activity, but at the same time, I cannot show insensitivity to the difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. I am saying, without any fear of contradiction, that those cars that were removed were not ó(i) disturbing the free flow of traffic, (ii) blocking access to anyone's driveway, or (iii) causing a public nuisance. It can therefore bring no comfort to anyone to see people who have health issues and/or security concerns with parking long distances away having to deal with unpleasant surprises after the show, for the crime of having in some cases parked a foot behind the white line on the sidewalk.
If I were convinced that the real motivation for the enthusiastic operation of the wrecking crews was to ensure that parking laws are not broken, then this letter would not have been written, but I have serious reservations about that. In fact, I challenge the authorities to change the payment system to the wrecker owners to a flat monthly fee for their service, and then we will really see how concerned the owners are about parking laws.
Mr Mayor, I heard you say in a recent interview that your office is not responsible for this new wave of wrecking in the city, and should this be the case, please forgive me for misdirecting my letter. While apologising though, I will take the opportunity to request you to kindly use the influence of your office to get these wrecker crews to be less mercenary and more humane in their operations.