OSWEGO, NY – Dave White claims the city has built a “Berlin Wall” blocking property his sister (Patty Wahrendorf) owns on the city’s northwest side.
“I would like the mayor to take down Oswego’s version of the Berlin Wall,” he said at this week’s council meeting. “I find it amusing that we’d block off a paper street because we’re having a problem with my sister and her husband over some rental property’s legal parking.”
There are other people on that street the city has authorized to park there, he added.
“If you’re mad at my sister, is your next move to block off Montcalm Street so I can’t get out of my driveway?” he asked the council.
His councilor, Fran Enwright, has an apartment building that doesn’t have a permit to park in public space, White said.
White, a former candidate for mayor, said the blockade is a waste of money to prevent “three or four cars” from parking there.
“If you got a problem with them parking there, why don’t you simply sit down and see if you can’t resolve the problem without putting up a wall so that other people can’t park there?” he said.
The area is not a paved parking lot, Councilor Enwright pointed it out. It is grass.
“It’s not three or four cars. It’s more like 13 cars, which you can imagine, when it comes to fall or early spring, it sort of looks like a bog; a big muddy area, a small boy could drown in it if you’re not careful,” he said. “Along with that stuff comes liter and sofas, mattresses and old televisions, computers all mixed up.”
He said that he (and the mayor) have met with White to discuss the process to use public space. All that is required is a permit, he added.
“Apparently, Mr. Wahrendorf doesn’t feel any laws of this city apply to him. So, just to protect the neighbors from the terror that was going on down there with the alleged frat house and garbage, we did place barricades,” Enwright said.
Councilor Mike Todd agreed with Enwright that there was a problem down there.
“A better solution, since they can’t legally park there, is to remove the barricades … ticket them. And then, the second time, start towing them,” he said. “There’s 13 cars parked there most days and it’s blocking access to people who actually need to get to their property.”
Even though, in the past, they “have hammered them with tickets,” it has accomplished little, Enwright added.
Council Vice President Eric VanBuren suggested putting the issue on the agenda for next week’s committee meeting to allow all parties an opportunity to express their concerns and opinions.
Councilor Mike Myers pointed out that if the cars are forced out of one area, they’ll move somewhere else.
“They’re going to find somewhere else to park and the problem will just move,” he said.
“Until we get some cooperation from the college on how to deal with off-campus problems, nothing’s going to change,” Todd said.
Myers urged the mayor to investigate the alleged fraternity house in the area as soon as possible.
“We shouldn’t punish all for the behavior of just a few,” he said.