Parkwise problems, who's responsible?
Who's responsible for Parkwise promlems and stolen taxpayer money?
Reporter: Tammy Vo
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - There isn't much that investigators know about what happened on June 6th in downtown Tucson. Who stole money out of 92 meters? How much was stolen? How did the theives get access to those meter keys?
"People will be held accountable" insists the City Manager, Mike Letcher. But Councilman Steve Kozachik insists that Letcher should've never allowed this to happen.
"We keep getting embarassed week after week after week. If it's not 911, it's 15% across the board, then a 200 million dollar hotel..." said Kozachik.
According to city memos, someone got access to meter keys and stole coins inside 92 meters on June 6th. Police began to investigate. Then, a memo was somehow leaked to the media showing that police couldn't track down any suspects because of several factors including: the meter keys were never secured, the system that shouldve kept track of how much money was in them wasn't working and a Parkwise supervisor told police that all the locks had been changed when, in fact, they had not. That supervisor has since be terminated.
"The person responsible wasn't paying attention to the day to day operations" said Letcher. "We fixed it as quickly as we could. If people aren't satisfied and say that it could've been done quicker, I would say, yeah, everything could be done quicker". Letcher adds that despite budget cuts, Parkwise is being closely monitored now for greater accountability. "If we had been allowed to do our work and someone internally had not leaked this report, we would've completed the work and reported this to council" added Letcher. Letcher admits that Parkwise has had operational problems since its inception in 1997. Earlier this year, the General Services Department within the city took over.
But Councilman Kozachik doesn't beleive that the leak should even be a factor, and that what has happened with Parkwise should be transparent. "If I were a CEO of a private sector corporation and it was one incident after another, at some point the board of directors would say 'We need a new leader in this organization'".
Letcher tells KGUN 9 that the affected meters will get new keys starting next week.