Sent February 24th, 2014
Dear Mayor Harper,
My name is Mike Hoskinson, I am a lifelong resident of HB reaching out to you for help.
I have been following Kim Kramer’s rise of influence in our city with concern for some time. As a member of HB Talk I have engaged the core membership there on many issues and been concerned about the leftist bent they have taken in the last few years. With the success of the recent bag ban I knew they would become emboldened and continue to enact their overly bureaucratic plans on the citizens.
On February 13th I spoke at the HBDRA about the proposed parking restrictions they feel are “necessary”, I shared that I live in the 11th/Orange neighborhood that, even though I live in one of the areas most severely impacted by traffic, summer parking and tourists, there is no crisis so great as to burden me or other property owners with further needless restrictions to their freedoms and that the proponents of this issue’s fears of “drunks taking all the parking” are overblown to the point of being comical. In that meeting Connie Boardman shared that “she didn’t understand why people were getting upset about the issue as it’s not even on the Council’s radar”; I hope that is the truth from your point of view.
In that meeting it was also stated that:
1) The City would be providing the passes free of charge.
2) Every block would have to vote themselves into the parking pass system.
3) A flyer was handed out that stated 12 “actions” that could be take to ameliorate the downtown parking problem. The #1& 2 actions were Parking Passes, the other 10 were all localized to downtown and would not burden the residents; it tips Kim Kramer’s hand that the #1 thing he wants to do is restrict citizen’s freedoms first before there are many other much less burdensome actions that could be taken first.
On Monday afternoon Kim Kramer and a small group came to my door and passed out a flyer for last night’s meeting at the senior center. It proclaimed a number of assertions:
1) “Permit parking IS coming to your street”. Why is the outcome being predetermined ? Has there been some vote or item placed on the agenda we missed ?
2) “Join us and cast your vote”. What power does the HBDRA have to cast any real vote ? why are they being allowed to pretend to the citizenry that they have any power, as a group, to ‘vote” this issue into existence ?
Also, why is the HBDRA sandbagging the locals, holding an important meeting with just 2 days notice ??
At the meeting we saw a railroading of any voices that did not want the parking passes enacted with Kim Kramer being openly derisive…calling anyone who dissented from his opinion “naysayers” and telling them “conventional wisdom” dictates his plan.
1) In 2 short weeks the price has gone up to $26 for the first permit and $6 for each additional. There is no guarantee of future raises being stopped or capped; vague ideas of being “tied to CPI” as the only unacceptable offering. As the price has risen massively in 2 weeks I worry that if this idea gets forced in front of the Council what amount the permit will take, then or in the future.
2) They spoke of having 2 permits per home, what if you have a family of 6 ?? they said that permits will be available to procure, why should residents be forced to beg their government to park in front of their own homes at any time ?
3) They are misleading the public that if the first few blocks of downtown enact parking passes it will flood their neighborhoods with outsiders parking there. I cannot imagine someone interested in visiting Main St. that would drive further and further out just to look for a free spot.
4) I received an email from Kim Kramer on HB Talk today claiming that “At the end they all voted on the HBDRA Parking Proposal with the following results: 7th-8th-9th Streets, 74.5% YES, All streets, 65.3% YES”, taking the negative tone in the room into account I believe this to be a outright lie. How would we know ? he has control of the physical ballots.
5) Ultimately, once enacted, rules have very little chance of being overturned.
Although they pretend to speak for the majority they are a core group of maybe 20 committed HB Talk regular members that use HB Talk and the HBDRA for their own propagandist purposes to magnify what they pretend “public approval” to be. As a majority of them do not live in the downtown area I believe they are misleading and lying to the public about matters that will not burden their properties or lives.
Clearly, Connie Boardman’s assertion that the issue isn’t on the radar is incorrect or the HBDRA is functioning with no contact or oversight from the City leadership. It is very clear that the HBDRA, under Kim Kramer’s forceful, condescending and coercive leadership, is attempting to force this issue down the public’s throat before any truly meaningful debate has occurred. Regarding Mr. Kramer, a few important points:
1) He bought his house 9 years ago on Pecan St., one block from Downtown. Nearly immediately, he began his war against bar patrons. I have called him out publicly why he feels comfortable moving into the downtown area by choice then attempting to change it to his liking, disregarding his own responsibility by voluntarily moving into an already impacted area.
2) I understand that Kim Kramer complained about Alessa Cucina to the point that they put a restraining order against him.
3) During the meeting last Wednesday we found out that his own street, conveniently for him, cannot have any parking restrictions by Coastal Commission rules.
4) I have heard that, in the last week, both the Triangle library and the Art Center had encounters with him where they denied him having access to space and he aggressively badgered them.
Kim Kramer is a hypocrite and gadfly of titanic proportions. He has shown a propensity to control people’s lives, shut down all dissent and lie about anyone or thing that impedes his “progress”. He is the exact wrong person to spearhead any public initiative and will only cause major dissent between downtown residents going forward.
One of my wider concerns is the nexus between Mark Bixby (who started and ran HB Talk for many years), Kim Kramer (Bixby’s hand-picked replacement), the HBDRA, the Downtown Task Force and certain members of our City Council; I believe these first 4 act as conduit organizations that only work for their own self interests but are sold as groups that strive for “the common good”….nothing could be further from the truth. I cannot and will not stand by while these petty bureaucrats attempt to control our lives for their own benefit.
Mayor Harper, I understand from people I trust that you are a good man and a solid small government Conservative. These people and their ideas are anathema to the residents of the city that wish to live good and free lives in their hometown, we need your help to stop them immediately. Please call me at your earliest convenience before the City Council meeting on Monday.
PS If this were a serious plan with honest intentions it would:
1) Include dissenters in the planning
2) Hold meetings that gave dissenters an equal opportunity to sit at the head table and hold a back and forth debate to bring all sides out
3) Then, and only then, if it moved to a point that the Council felt it appropriate to hold a vote make it so all affected property owners with valid ID had to come and vote in person to get a real head count.
Kim Kramer’s reply to me March 5th, 2015:
Dear Mr. Hoskinson,
I am confident that Mayor Harper and others that you blind copied on this email are smart enough to understand that your facts and many of your statements are grossly misleading and incorrect.
I am also confident that they understand that name calling and bullying (as you do throughout your email attacking me personally) is nothing more than an evil propaganda perpetrated as a poor substitute for fact-based, rational and intelligent argument.
We have never met – you don’t know me – we have never spoken – what can it possibly be that you attack me with such harsh condemnation?
You have never approached me directly, in person or by e-mail to discuss any of this with me, although you have had endless opportunities to do so at many public meetings.
You send these e-mails (this is not the first one) filled with vicious lies and vile accusations against me to a list of people that you blind copy in act of cowardliness.
Here are some facts for you to consider:
1) The Downtown Task Force supports residential permit parking and voted unanimously to recommend the expansion of the City’s Permit Parking Ordinance to include downtown residents not currently eligible.
2) Based on the support of the Task Force, the HBDRA is working on a comprehensive permit parking program for the downtown residents.
3) As part of a democratic process, the residents will vote on permit parking and you will also be voting along with your neighbors.
4) Based on the voting that took place at the HBDRA community meeting (February 26th) that you attended, the majority of attendees support the HBDRA permit parking proposal.
5) The community, not the HBDRA, will determine the future of permit parking in the downtown residential neighborhoods.
P.S. Please have the courage to send my response to your list of blind copied recipients.
My reply to Kim Kramer on March 15th:
Mr. Kramer, pardon the tardiness of my reply.
I would strongly suggest one of two scenarios
1) Give up the parking plan.
2) Have a public debate with the other side (the meeting on the 26th was not a debate nor a legitimate vote), televised locally. Then, have an actual verified vote that only residents and property owners in the affected areas could participate in.
I don’t see your plan moving forward without having the public fully informed and engaged, neither of which has happened to date.