As only I could have predicted, the City of Chester has responded to Widener’s letter to the editor with one of their own. Using many of his own words, here’s a recap of the letter Chester’s mayor submitted as published in yesterday’s paper. Since many don’t read the Delaware County Daily Times, here’s an abridged version. 

After opening with a few paragraphs of historic platitudes regarding his relationship with Widener, he expresses his sadness of their disagreement over parking policy that has landed in court in a battle and game of blame.

In his attempt to clarify what’s really going on in the city’s desire to foster and cultivate mutually beneficial partnerships with the university, we read a chronological recap beginning cordially on November 4 when the university expressed by phone and letter their deep concern on the proposed parking meters on campus. On November 9 the mayor graciously responded to their letter in what he describes as a productive and positive process which would lead to a December 12, 2018, at 12:30 p.m. meeting.

On November 15, the city held a public Parking Meter Plan Informational Meeting that outlined details of the parking plan. (I wonder how many people from the public attended?)

The mayor says he was so shocked and taken aback when Widener’s attorney hit him up with a cease and desist letter on December 7th that he cancelled his December 12th meeting with Widener. The time for good faith dialogue had ended as unneeded pain and frustration had set in. But despite the pain and frustration, the mayor would welcome city council and Widener continue their quarterly meetings. And, there was a meeting scheduled with Widener, the mayor, and city council yesterday. The goal of that meeting was to rekindle a partnership between each other.

It should be known that the Chester City Council approved the parking plan as a result of robust city-wide discussions regarding order and safety which was needed on the streets along with a plan to encourage vehicle turnover in congested areas like Widener who already knew the city’s intention was to regulate parking better.

Widener is only thinking about themselves and not the entire city and is well aware other colleges charge for on street parking. They must consider how ‘we’ worked with the state to help pay for things on their campus.

This situation is not a parking war as splashed on the front page of the Daily Times. This is response to community complaints and a move to the 21st century.

For some strange reason, I don’t expect Widener will respond with another letter to the editor.