Plans to Dissolve Jersey City Parking Authority Set into Motion

Jersey City Parking Authority logo

The Jersey City Parking Authority (JCPA), an autonomous agency that enforces the city’s parking rules, may soon be no more.

At tomorrow’s City Council meeting, on Sept. 25, the council members will vote on whether or not to retain a law firm chosen to investigate the operations of the JCPA. This, city officials say, would be the first step in the process to dissolve the agency, which employs about 100, cost about $7.2 million to run in 2012 and brought in about $7.4 million in revenue, according to the Jersey Journal.

The process begins with the study as a way to inform the City Council as how best to proceed and must be included in the City’s application to the New Jersey Local Finance Board in conjunction with City Council action via an ordinance to be presented at the conclusion of the study, city officials said last Thursday.

Rather than put the contract up for bid, the city is choosing to move posthaste by retaining Weiner Lesniak, LLP, a Parsippany-based law firm which boasts expertise in government law as well as other fields and handled the dissolution of the Hudson County Utilities Authority. City officials say the law firm will specifically provide a detailed report on the operations and finances of the Parking Authority, including the services and functions provided; the number of employees, salaries, titles and collective bargaining agreements; outstanding debt and assets, as well as areas of duplicative services with other city departments or agencies.

If the JCPA is dissolved, city officials say parking enforcement will fall under a traffic and parking division within the Public Safety Department and that parking enforcement personnel will have additional ticketing abilities to enforce quality of life issues.

“Generally speaking, autonomous agencies create unnecessary layers of bureaucracy and duplicative services,” said Mayor Steven Fulop in a statement. The dissolution of the autonomous agencies back into the city was a campaign pledge of the mayor’s. He has already instituted several other cost-cutting and streamlining measures.

JCPA CEO Mary Paretti did not return repeated calls for comment.

Summer Dawn Hortillosa

is a freelance arts and entertainment writer whose work has appeared in the Jersey City Independent, The Jersey Journal, the International and other publications. She is also a creative writer and theatrical director.