Parking leaves seniors in the dark

Dunkirk seniors take note. We are not regarded as important human beings in the eyes of the Dunkirk Common Council, namely Stephanie Kiyak, Michael Michalski, William Rivera, Adelino Gonzalez and Stacy Szukala.

In December, I was given five minutes to address the council members. The mayor and all the department heads of the city were present. I suggested the urgency of changing the alternate parking time from 5 o’clock, when it is dark, to an earlier hour. I was called two days later that it would not be changed.

I wrote a letter to the editor. It was published on the Opinion page on Dec. 15 headlined, “City penalizes seniors with parking.”

I received feedback from many city residents with comments under the article and one long handwritten letter.

Two important suggestions emerged:

Instead of changing the time for everyone, a tag, similar to the handicapped version, could be made for seniors to place on the mirror or even a sticker on the windshield. The officer could see that it meant they could park at 4 o’clock and not receive a ticket.

Give a window from 3 to 6 o’clock to also accommodate shift workers as well. Plows would have plenty of time before and after those times.

I sent my daughter, Mary Burns Deas, who writes “Yesterday’s and Today’s” in Sunday Lifestyles for the OBSERVER to the January meeting. She addressed the parking issue with the two suggestions.

To date, I have received one call. Are they are waiting so now that it is getting lighter the council can put it off until next year? I wonder in the meantime how many of us have fallen in the dark to move our car, plus the difficulty of getting out in the heavy snow and ice and extreme low temperatures. Many are handicapped and need to use canes or walkers.

Let’s look at the facts:. The seniors in our city have been living here for decades. They raised their children, had local employment and were the backbone of our community. They live or lived in the well built two story homes that line our streets right down to the waterfront. Now they are treated as second-class citizens.

Perhaps the council hopes that most of us are at the County Home or other facilities and can sweep us under the rug and not have to deal with the 1,906 seniors 65 and older who live here. Shame on you.

Wait until you get to be our age.

Rosamond Gillespie Burns is a Dunkirk resident.