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Meeting attendees strike out at baseball fans

| Friday, July 5, 2002

Residents who regularly attend Plum Council meetings are unhappy that they can't find parking spaces in the borough building lot.

The residents chastised council members because the spots are being used by people attending baseball games at Plum athletic fields across the street.

"Why is there no parking?" asked resident Mary Louise Anderson, who also is a Plum School Board member.

"I was here at 6:10 (for a 6:30 council meeting), and there was no place to park," Anderson said during a council meeting earlier this week.

Anderson said she is particularly annoyed because people attending baseball games across New Texas Road at the athletic fields often do not heed a borough building sign stating that parking in the lot is solely for those attending borough meetings.

"There is a sign," Anderson said. "And the lot is packed with cars. It is ridiculous. People cannot read the sign. It is time that something be done."

Anderson said ballgame spectators should be directed to park in the spots provided at the fields or in the gravel lot beyond the borough building.

Council President Clem Barbarino conceded the parking situation is bad because people attending baseball games often do not heed the sign.

Anderson said people who come to the borough building and the tax office to pay bills cannot find parking spots.

"We are trying to get money into the borough, and people are trying to come in and can't park," Anderson said. "You don't want them to park in your spot."

Anderson's comments led to a verbal exchange with Mayor John Schmeck.

Schmeck asked Anderson if she was suggesting police issue tickets to people who ignore the sign and park in the lot.

Anderson suggested that Schmeck have an officer stand at the entrance to the borough building and enforce the parking directive.

Schmeck shot back to Anderson, "If you get here early, you can stand out there."

"Mr. Schmeck, give me something in writing and I will," Anderson said.

Plum resident Eleanor DeMichiei said the parking situation has gone on for years and past councils have done nothing about it.

"This borough is sports-minded," DeMichiei said. "You don't want to tramp on anyone's toes or come election time you won't (be re-elected)."

Barbarino said he will make an announcement during Monday night's televised council meeting that people attending baseball games should park at the fields.

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