Ledger Inquirer

Ledger Inquirer: Where do I park and how do I get in?

An Irate Taxpayer called last week after having visited the new City Services Center on Macon Road.

The lady said she approached the Center from the middle entrance off Macon Road and parked in the library parking lot because it's nearest to the front of the building. But she soon found out that the front is no longer used. So she had to walk all the way around to the back, where the front door now resides.

She was not happy and she let one of the deputy sheriff's at the entrance know about it.

"He told me I was supposed to park in the $6 million parking garage," she said.

Her point was that she didn't know and had no way to know where to park. And why the heck build a nice front façade with nice doors only to lock them up and not use them? She also said she watched several other people go through the same ordeal.

I explained to her, as I did a couple of years ago, which she obviously missed, that it was a reaction to a law the Georgia General Assembly passed allowing pretty much anybody to carry firearms pretty much anywhere. But under the law, the owner of a building can ban guns in it, which the city did.

Prior to that, the city had a metal detector outside Council Chambers on the second floor, for obvious reasons. But after handguns were banned in the whole building the city had to move it down to the first floor to check everyone who comes in.

Problem was (and is) that metal detectors cost $100,000-plus and they require at least three deputy sheriffs to operate them properly. So putting another one at the front door would cost the city a chunk of change, not only up front, but every year.

"Why not put the one they have in the front door?" she asked.

Because the parking deck's out back.

As far as locating the deck, I don't think a lack of signage is the problem. I drove around the place on Friday and counted at least 11 of them. But maybe it's easy for me because I go to the City Services Center so often. (It's OK to be jealous.)

So let me suggest something I learned in the Boy Scouts. Locating the proper place to park (and there's really only one) is a little like walking the Appalachian Trail. Now, I've walked the entire trail several times -- the entire width, not the length -- and the key to staying on the trail is the hash marks (no, not hashtags!). You don't leave one until you see the next. At least that's what my scoutmaster told me, and he wouldn't lie. (He was bad to take a drink, but he wouldn't lie.)

So next time you're going to the City Services Center, find one of the dozen or so signs around the place and then look for the next, and so forth.

Then leave your gun in your car.

Seen something that needs attention? Contact me at 706-571-8570 or mowen @ledger-enquirer.com.