City takes over parking enforcement

By Cameron Rasmusson 
Reader Staff

The city recently returned to managing downtown parking on its own with the hiring of two community resource officers.

This year, Diamond Parking is out and Angela Tennson and Ryan Daniel, Sandpoint’s new community resource officers, are in. Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad said that while parking enforcement is rarely a popular thing, townsfolk generally preferred the more personal touch offered by local officers.

Sandpoint’s new Community Resource Officers Angela Tennson, left, and Ryan Daniel, right. Photo courtesy of City of Sandpoint.

“In a larger sense, I think community resources officers really are ambassadors of the city,” Rognstad said.

The city was forced to let go of its original municipal enforcement officers several years ago due to budget shortfalls spurred by the Great Recession. With better economic times on the horizon, city officials decided to return to the original method of parking enforcement when passing the 2018 budget.

“Early on there was a lot of criticism of that decision (to let go municipal enforcement officers),” Rognstad said. “There was a lot of feeling Diamond didn’t have the same level of customer service and sensitivity compared to our in-house staff.”

The community resource officers will tackle more than just parking enforcement. They’ll also handle everything from animal control to business licensure to building code inspection. The added manpower will free up other city staff who were occupied with those tasks.

“(They’ll be able to handle) anything from a tree down on a sidewalk to a dog running loose,” Rognstad said.

Police Chief Corey Coon is happy to have the additions on the force. He sees it as a return to the small-town friendliness Sandpoint is known for.

“We’re excited to have parking back,” he said. “We’re excited to have control again of some of those things we lost.”

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

Support The Reader

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.