Where did everybody go?
• So here's some local stuff that's going on in my redneck of the woods.
It probably won't rate a segment on cable television's "Parking Wars," but the fact that a small group of relocated employees at the Westmoreland County Courthouse will get free parking has permanent staffers up in arms.
When more than 30 juvenile probation workers report to work Monday morning, they will get to park for free in a lot about two blocks from the courthouse.
With a $4 million project set to begin this year to remodel the juvenile detention center, probation workers had to be relocated. On Monday, the staff will take over vacant office space on the third floor of the courthouse.
Those workers were given more than 30 parking spots in a gravel lot on Otterman Street that is owned by the county's redevelopment authority. They now park for free in a lot outside the juvenile detention center in Hempfield.
Meanwhile, the majority of more than 500 permanent courthouse staffers will have to pay to park in city garages or pump coins into street-side parking meters.
Now there's a bunch of blahblahblah to this article, but the last two paragraphs caught my attention.
Ted Kopas, chief of staff to Westmoreland County Commissioner Tom Balya, said Friday that free parking was given to juvenile probation officers out of "fairness."
"It wouldn't be right to ask them to pay for parking because of a project the county is doing," Kopas said.
"Fairness." Interesting. You see, in this same county there is some road construction going on due to some hippie EPA order. This construction is going on along a patch of road that's home to a bunch of local businesses, who are understandably pissed off about the whole thing. "No need to worry," the politicians said, "this construction won't affect any of the businesses."
Less than two months into construction a corner store shut its doors. The reason? The road construction turned away many of the customers. The amount of businesses went down so much that this store lost its lottery machine, and the owner decided to call it a day.
Now in the interest of "fairness," I think the State should allow this store owner, who from what I was told had been in business for decades, to keep his lottery machine and stay in business. But wait, this store is in the PRIVATE sector.
Maybe the store owner should have asked for a bailout.