ShareThis Page

Group looking to eliminate parking meters in Monessen

| Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 8:16 p.m.
Chris Buckley
Ron Mozer, owner of Crystalline Technologies, stands in front of a digitial sign annoucing a street clean up for Saturday, May 18. The clean up is the initial project for the Monessen Busienss Owners group that Mozer has started.

Ron Mozer hopes to improve the business climate in Monessen.

Those who attended the initial Monessen Business Owners meeting had an overwhelming starting point – eliminate parking meters downtown.

Ron Mozer, owner of Crystalline Technologies, organized the meeting to gauge the needs of his fellow business owners. His company, located at Eastgate 11, does satellite telemetry for the oil and gas industry, with customers from New York to Tennessee as well as overseas.

Nine business leaders attended, discussing dilapidated buildings in the downtown and cleaning up trash from city streets.

Mozer issued an open invitation to business owners and residents to join in a street cleanup along Tyrol Boulevard, State Street and the intersection of Tyrol and Grand boulevards. Those participating will meet 8 a.m. Saturday at Eastgate 11.

“Those are the most visible streets in the city and in serious need of cleanup,” Mozer said.

At noon, Mozer is hosting a picnic at the boat ramp and will be doing the cooking for those who participate. City police will assist with traffic control during the cleanup and the street department will erect signs warning motorists to slow down during the cleanup.

But parking meters were the biggest issue discussed.

“Every business owner who I spoke with said parking meters are a detriment to business,” Mozer said.

“If you go to get a haircut, you have to put money in the meter. If you stop to eat, you have to put money in the meter.”

Gerald Saksun, owner of the Torn Page, said parking meters have a negative effect on his business.

“I have lost 15 to 20 customers because when they come in here, they are in here 2 to 3 minutes and when they go back, they have a ticket on their car,” Saksun said. “I have offered to pay it. They say ‘no thanks, but I'm not coming back.'” When Saksun served on city council, the issue was addressed.

“We considered two-hour free parking,” Saksun said. “We were supposed to meet with Waynesburg officials. But that never happened. I broached the issue three or four times.”

Waynesburg eliminated parking meters several years ago.

Saksun said he felt the issue was not being addressed by his peers. He cited that as a reason why he chose not to seek re-election.

Saksun, a former city controller, said he has advocated for years the removal of parking meters.

He favors parking permits, but is concerned that the meters scare customers away.

City Administrator John Harhai acknowledged that parking meter revenues and expenses effectively break even.

Mozer said he has reached out to city officials, including Harhai and Mayor Mary Jo Smith. They have had some discussions about how to improve the downtown business district.

He also reached out to the Monessen Chamber of Commerce, but expressed disappointment that he has had no response from the chamber.

Chamber President Gary Boatman did not return phone calls or respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

“I believe in Monessen,” Mozer said. “I believe it can work. We just need some action.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.