Mayor Apologizes for Enforcement of Handicapped Parking
Tel Aviv, Israel (AP) – Following an embarrassing episode in which city contractors painted a handicapped-only parking spot around an already-parked car and then had the car towed, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai apologized for the incident, saying that actual enforcement of handicap-only parking should not happen at all, let alone incompetently.
“The types of people who park in handicap spots are exactly the kind of people we want to attract to Tel Aviv,” said Huldai at a press conference. “Those are the real go-getters, the ones who know which rules need breaking in the quest to reach ever higher.”
Huldai promised an investigation of the contractor charged with ignoring parking enforcement. “It is simply unacceptable that in this twenty-first century city, a paradise on the Mediterranean, success-oriented people are made to worry about making space available for society’s leeches. If you have a wheelchair, just stay out of the way,” he said.
Huldai’s administration has faced allegations of insufficiently corrupt selection of the contractors engaged by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality. Opponents on the city council have charged that the selection process is too transparent, and that cronyism often takes a back seat to effectiveness. They also contend that management of the limited number of parking spaces available in the city focuses too much on ticketing ugly or old cars – leaving late models or sporty vehicles unmolested – and not nearly enough on poor maintenance of roadways in low-income neighborhoods.
Resident Etti Bar-Yaakov, director of the South Tel Aviv Incompetence Network (STAIN), says her coalition of community disorganizers has cobbled together a litany of the current administration’s failings, among them too much attention lavished on stoking racial tensions in the city’s mixed neighborhoods, at the expense of laughably insufficient schools and day-care centers. STAIN holds a weekly demonstration nowhere near City Hall to highlight Huldai’s alleged shortcomings. Most recently, the protests have stressed a series of incidents in which the mayor repeatedly turned down an offer to provide sexual favors for himself and his staff in exchange for allocating additional funds for the city’s child welfare agencies.
Despite limited success in drawing attention to her cause, Bar-Yaakov remains optimistic that the situation will change. “One day soon, Tel Aviv’s governance will be just as backward and Byzantine as Jerusalem’s,” she predicted.
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