CLEARWATER - Shoppers at the Downtown Clearwater Farmers Market were greeted by more than the usual array of fresh produce and an ice cream social at the weekly event on Wednesday. Many found parking citations on their cars issued by the City of Clearwater. The violation? Parking at an expired meter.
Bob Fernandez, General Manager of the Farmers Market, was dismayed. Shaking his head, he said, "This season, visitors to the Farmers Market were not required to feed the meters. The only people who have received parking violations were those who parked in reserved or handicapped spaces."
Clearwater's Director of Parking Tracey Bruch, who was on-site during the parking crackdown, referred questions to the City's Public Communications Department. Assistant Director of Public Communications Joelle Castelli said, "We never had any agreement to not enforce the parking meters at City Hall during the Farmers Market. In the future, the meters will continue to be enforced."
The Downtown Farmers Market will run for three more weeks this season. Visitors would be well-advised to bring a few quarters on their next shopping trips.
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