Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 02/1/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
THERE’S only one prime parking spot left at city hall and that perk isn’t one that belongs to the prime politician.
Instead, chief bureaucrat Phil Sheegl is the lucky one who gets to park his vehicle at the top of a service ramp beside the rear entrance to city hall’s administrative building. He moved his vehicle there following the closure of the Civic Centre Parkade, which was shut down in August due to structural concerns.
The closure left about 220 monthly parkers — including Mayor Sam Katz, members of city council, and city staff — and another 134 Winnipeg police and city fleet vehicles scrambling to find places to park downtown. The mayor, some members of council and city staff now park at the Centennial Concert Hall, which, like the Civic Centre Parkade, is connected to city hall via underground tunnel. Others park at the Bedford Parkade on King Street, about two blocks away.
By comparison, Sheegl is mere steps away from city hall.
City sources say the the chief administrative official’s parked car makes it difficult for service vehicles such as mail trucks to enter and exit.
On Thursday, the Mercedes Sheegl was driving was parked at the top of the service ramp, in front of a sign which reads "authorized vehicles only in designated area." Sheegl was unavailable for an interview.
City of Winnipeg spokesman Steve West said the parking space was originally set up a year ago as a temporary spot for senior staff who come and go from meetings.
West said Sheegl decided to use the space full-time following the Civic Centre Parkade closure, as a way to minimize the number of parking spots the city had to find elsewhere.
He said the city did not install an electrical outlet at the parking spot especially for Sheegl, saying it was already there. West said he has not heard of any complaints about the parking space.
"In light of the parkade closure when there was a relocation of a number of folks, Phil elected to use that spot rather than going to an underground heated spot," he said.
Other members of council said it may not be the safest place to leave a vehicle.
"It’s completely inappropriate in my books," saidCharleswood-Tuxedo Coun. Paula Havixbeck, who parks at the Bedford Parkade. "It’s a loading zone."
Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) said he would be nervous parking his car on that ramp for fear of getting hit.
"It seems like a bit of a risky spot to park there permanently," said the acting deputy mayor.
"I’m surprised no one has run into him."
How long Sheegl’s vehicle will remain in the spot depends on what happens with the Civic Centre Parkade, West said.
Coun. Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge) said downtown parking is at a premium, and most councillors and city staff park a few blocks away from city hall. Gerbasi said it appears Sheegl is getting special treatment, and hopes his vehicle isn’t disrupting traffic in a loading area.
"Maybe they should take the three monkeys statue and move it there to mark his spot," Gerbasi said jokingly, referring to the "three wise monkeys" statue Sheegl installed outside the entrance to the offices of Winnipeg’s senior public servants.
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Sure things: Death, taxes and Pavelec in the pipes
Perreault ready to go
Future Shop stores closing, 1,500 jobs lost
Boko Haram kills 41, prevents hundreds voting in Nigeria
Lights out Saturday for Earth Hour
Chaotic start to Copp's career
There's been little progress in uniting the NDP since leadership turmoil
Canada's Eugenie Bouchard upset at Miami Open
Local businessman has a plan for a Winnipeg without rail lines
The XXX Factor: Sex and relationships in a digital world
Painstaking search continues after NYC blast, but hope dims
The final countdown: Here's how the Jets' charge for a playoff spot shakes down
Two reservists hurt, one seriously, as military truck strikes bridge
Police investigate two deaths on Sioux Valley First Nation
For cancer survivor Don Dietrich, heaven is a hockey rink in the Rockies
Look for blustery end to March
A local artist has been painting portraits of indigenous people who died tragically
The $4.4-B promise: Conservatives hiking child-care benefit ahead of election
Arts, shopping, nightlife... wait a minute, this is Saskatoon?
The calm before the (summer) storm
Police issue description of suspect seen exposing himself
For owners of dance club / 1980s-style arcade, finding vintage amusements was the hardest part
Goldeyes are consistent winners on the field and in the stands
Transcona-raised pro wrestler Kenny Omega is literally big in Japan
24-storey D CONDO TOWER set to rise on site of the former Restaurant Dubrovnik
Winnipeg's Nostalgia Radio finds supporters and success as non-profit co-op
A favourite few: Too difficult to pick just one favourite grape
The vacation bucket list
Of faith and music
Here's your weekend weather in Winnipeg
Cases show vulnerability of privacy with spy cams
Perreault could be in Sunday's Jets lineup against Chicago
Slow and savoury: Braised brisket to warm your soul
WSO brings the spirit of Beethoven to life
Wheaties turn tables, pound Oil Kings to square series
Former Winnipeg councillor Amaro Silva was 'dedicated to making Winnipeg a better place'
Flood risk low, but in other news...
Workshops for women worthwhile
Marine repair business that runs out of owner's cottage at odds with Manitoba Conservation
Man accused of driving ATV drunk and killing friend says he drank after the crash, not before