Police parking passes: Rare situation where concession makes sense

The city police asked and Williamsport Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said yes.

That hasn’t happened all the time in recent years as the mayor has sought concessions on health care and other benefits, many of them budgetarily necessary. In this case, city police asked for free parking passes for officers.

The Williamsport Parking Authority is giving the police 50 passes and relying on their good faith to use them wisely.

While this is not the perfect time to do this – the Midtown Parking Deck garage is about to be taken down it shouldn’t be a long-term problem. Space will be opening up temporarily when demolition is completed at a building on Market Street.

Parking authority officials estimate losing $12,000 in revenue in the deal. The concessions sought by the administration will save the city a lot more than that in the future.

Beyond the dollars and cents questions, if anyone deserves a parking perk, it’s the police. They are called in at a moment’s notice, sent to court appearances and walking side streets and store lots several blocks from City Hall all the time. And, of course, the police cars need the spaces behind police headquarters in the rear of City Hall.

We normally raise an eyebrow over separate and special treatment of certain employees, but this situation merits a small concession.

Relations between the mayor, administration and city police have been strained over the changes being sought in benefits and health care, so an olive branch is not a bad approach.