We received a letter from a Stettlerite, upset about our policy about persons parking in our lot when not actually shopping in the store. Her points were as follows;
• She was supporting the Legion, which is a worthwhile organization
• In “small-town Stettler”, we should be more open to allowing people to use our lot.
• We shouldn’t threaten to tow unauthorized vehicles from our lot.
• Because of our policy, she will be shopping elsewhere, and out of town.
• We should be more considerate of seniors and veterans.
We regret that you took this position, and feel you should hear “the other side of the story”.
The problem is that some Legion patrons and folks using the rental hall seem to think that because there is a big parking lot across the street that is convenient, they can simply park there and not worry about who it affects. We have bent over backwards trying to work with the parking problem, discussing it with management and directors of the Legion for several years. Their conclusion is the same as ours: — Some folks don’t care about respecting other’s property and their right to use it.
We are trying, but here is what we are up against. Every time there is a function at the Legion, our lot fills up before the Legion’s own lot or the one to the north. We have tried to live with it, but it is having serious consequences for our business. Fridays and Saturdays are our busiest days of the week, that’s the busiest time for the Legion also.
Our patrons are entitled to first use of our “Customer Parking” lot. We seem to be caught in a no-win situation. Either people are frustrated because there is no parking, or folks like you are angry because we ask for our space back for those customers. What is the solution??
We have told the Legion to notify patrons that, any time we are not open for business, anyone is welcome to use the lot. I think that is fair. Last Remembrance Day, we informed the Legion that our lot would be available all day for the use of those coming to the Legion.
The Legion is sympathetic to our plight. They just don’t know how to help resolve it. They ask people using the building not to park here, but the message is ignored and scoffed. That is not fair, either. Legion members and patrons need to show community respect, too.
To threaten to shop elsewhere does not address the issue at hand, as you will still want to park in our lot when at the Legion. What does that accomplish? If you shop out of town, it only serves to weaken the economy of our community, as your dollars do not help Stettler if they are spent elsewhere. Jobs and livelihoods are precious to this community, so think about what that means for Stettler.
Again, we do respect the Legion and what it stands for. We are thankful we live in a country where we have vehicles to park, and we should not spoil that by running over each other’s toes.
Louis deBeaudrap Manager,
Albert Mikulecky, Owner,
Stettler Home Hardware