In a letter to City Council, Mayor Jim Kenney said he would not sign a bill passed earlier this month that suspends a program allowing electric vehicle (EV) owners apply for EV-only parking spots in front of their residences.
The refusal to sign is largely symbolic. The bill will still become law without the mayor’s signature.
In his letter, Kenney says he declined to sign the bill because of the open-ended nature of the moratorium. “That sends the wrong message to residents about the benefits to our City of EV usage,” wrote Kenney. “This moratorium must not lead to a period of inactivity by the City on this issue.”
In a separate bill, Councilman Mark Squilla proposes placing a two-year cap on the moratorium. Kenney’s letter states that the mayor would prefer a one-year sunset on the suspension. Squilla cosponsored the moratorium along with Councilman David Oh.
Existing EV owners were incensed by the bill’s other provision, which allows non-electric vehicles park in the EV-only spots during the day. Previously, only EVs could park at those on-street spaces. EV owners have described the change as a “bait-and-switch,” and while the letter acknowledged the change it stopped short of saying whether or not Kenney agreed with it.
Kenney concludes his letter by calling for City Council and his administration to form a working group on electric vehicle usage.