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Citizen: JFK staff hogs neighborhood street parking
Nadine parking
Parking on Nadine Avenue north of the JFK school campus is crowded, a resident on the block complained to the Ceres City Council last week. The school said it can’t tell staff where to park.

Nadine Avenue resident Steve Rank is upset over the lack of parking in his neighborhood he claims is caused by teachers and staff of JFK School hogging up all the on-street parking. He took his complaint to the Ceres City Council last week in hopes to find a remedy.

Rank lives east of Stonum Road, which is where the special school operated by the Stanislaus County Office of Education is located.

“For the past four years we’ve been putting up with a horrific congestion from the employees from the school parking on the residential street,” Rank told the council.

He said he told Tom Changnon, the Superintendent of Schools at the time, about the problem and was assured a 40-stall parking lot was going to be created. It was finished but Rank claims “none of the employees utilize it, the on-campus parking. They continue to park down the street.”

He said he spoke to the principal at least five times to ask for cooperation with the last conversation resulting in Rank being told the school cannot dictate where employees park.

On Friday morning the Courier checked the school parking lot and found no available stalls in which to park. There was also an RV parked in front of his residence.

Rank said when companies like landscapers come to service his house they often cannot park in front of his house.

“My concern is a safety concern because of the congestion,” Rank told council members. “I probably should have come here four years ago when it started to be an issue.” He asked for parking restrictions, such as permit parking limited to residents, or parking restricted during school hours.

“I’m asking for all the neighbors on the block. We have guests come over; they have to park at least a block away and then walk to your house. I don’t think the employees of the school would appreciate it if we went and parked in front of their house and congested their block and caused considerable issues.”

City Manager Toby Wells said that he would look into the matter and said the city has created parking exclusive to residents in some areas, such as near Smyrna Park.

“For his particular case it would seem more appropriate to just restrict parking to certain hours, school hours,” Wells told the mayor.

Mayor Chris Vierra said that may not be a solution given that the residents would be under the same restrictions. He suggested perhaps a parking pass zone. Wells said it would be “problematic to enforce and monitor.”

“Signage has proven to be the most cost-effective and easiest to both enforce and maintain,” said Wells. “But we’ll look into it.”