Saddleback administration proposes new parking fees

Johnny Wilson

Carol Hilton, administrative vice president of Saddleback College, introduced a proposal to increase campus parking fees during the academic senate meeting last Wednesday (agenda item 9F). According to Hilton, the proposal would increase student parking costs by approximately $20, discontinue free parking for campus visitors and require parking fees of roughly $200 annually for vendors on campus.

A parking committee consisting of Saddleback “faculty and staff managers” (with the exception of one member being a student) was created around six months ago to conduct research and implement changes within the parking program, according to Hilton.

Hilton and members of the Saddleback parking committee hope to officially enact these changes no later than fall 2013.

By creating higher costs for parking, the committee aims to establish a regular parking maintenance program, as well as the possible addition of more spaces.

To address the latter, an architect has been hired to examine the school’s parking lots. Members of the parking committee hope that this examination will reveal a more efficient parking layout, one which will have more spaces using the current lot size.

Campus parking fees have not been increased since 2003 Hilton said. In addition, Saddleback’s parking is a self-sufficient program. In other words, it receives no outside funding and therefore must raise fees in order to keep up with the school’s rising parking expenditures.

“What we’ve realized is that with the cost it takes to maintain the parking program, the current fees are insufficient,” Hilton said. “If we look at the projected implemented expenses in our parking budget, we’re almost $1 million short.”

The proposed increase in student fees is not without reprisal, however. As discussed during Hilton’s presentation to the academic senate, parking expenditures would be raised across the board.

“Staff, faculty and management should pay, at the very least, the same as students,” Hilton said.

Students at Saddleback seem to agree with this statement, given that the new fees would nearly double the current rate of $30 for a semester parking pass.

“I think teachers should pay the same amount as students since they are financially better off than the average college student,” Christian Knauer, 20, business said.

However, the many fee increases as mentioned in Hilton’s presentation remain strictly a proposal– official changes will not be made until further review and legislation.

 

Click here for a map of Saddleback College with parking lot locations.

Click here for a copy of the academic senate’s May 1, 2013 meeting agenda.

Click here to contact Administrative Vice President Carol Hilton.

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