Meet Myrtle

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

 And Myrtle's new ride.

Photo by Brian Livingston, one of our writers/photographers

Yes, our parking police officer, Myrtle has a new ride.  Last Wednesday, we saw her zipping around outside on her T-3 personal mobility unit (T-3PMU).  Of course half of the office had to get up to see what she was on and ask her questions about how she likes it, uses it, etc.

But, here is my question — why?  Why do you need one of these when you cover about 8 (if that) blocks.  Trust me, she has NO problem getting back around to make sure you have or haven't moved from the parking space with the noted time posted on the sign.  (Don't get me started on that "permanent" chalk.)  And she is so good that she will get there two minutes before your time is up and still write you out a ticket.  Yes, they are $6, but they can add up.  Moving every one or two hours can be a BIG pain while trying to work.  I have to keep a reminder on my iPhone alarm for when I need to go move.

So again I ask, why?  Is this what our tax dollars are going to?  And, if the city can afford to buy these — why give out parking tickets?  Until the day comes when we can buy a month parking pass to park anywhere downtown for unlimited time (which I'd be MORE than happy to do) — I guess we will be running from Myrtle and her new toy.

So Meridianiates and downtown parkers, watch our for our "friend" Myrtle.


  1. Joy, I was really disappointed in this story. When I saw the title and picture, I thought it might be a nice article on the new transportation for our parking enforcement officers. I'm sure Myrtle would be hurt to know that you took this nice picture of her only to demean her in your little blog. You really need to get all your facts straight before posting a story like this. Do some research. What I'm getting at, is these T3's were bought with grant money, noone's tax money went to these. She and Randy were happy to walk the streets downtown. However, the higher ups of the pd thought that this would be easier on them with the upcoming summer heat. And thirdly, they are merely doing their job. Nobody downs you for doing yours, so pay your tickets and get over it. If you don't care for paying tickets, move your car or park in the parking garage.

  2. I'm not going to share my opinion about this... just know it's not a nice one =D

    Love the post... when I worked downtown I was so thankful that I had leased a parking space in the lot on the same block as Weidmann's. Saved a ton of money in parking tickets.

  3. Deanna,

    First, I was not "demeaning" her. I speak to Myrtle every day and this morning I asked her where her new ride was and she said it was too wet for her to ride. BTW, The Meridian Star had already published a story with this photo in the paper last Thursday.

    Second, I was asking a question about the T3's. That's why there were question marks behind the question about tax dollars and "why" in general. And because of this comment, you have answered those. Thank you. Myrtle did not inform me of the "whys."

    Third, I know she is doing her job. And she does a dang good job at it. And because of the great job she is doing, I move my car, constantly. As far as paying the fines, I have no problem doing that when the check (#3364) I wrote and mailed to the address on the back of the ticket in November finally clears the bank.

  4. @ Deanna: I have a couple of questions... my family is involved with the Volunteer Fire Department and we receive grants from time to time to buy equipment and other various items for the department. Did the city write the grant request with the scooters in mind? Could the money have been used in other places? OR was the grant written specifically for the T3's? I could completely understand the city wasting the grant money if it was designated to be used to purchase these…. But if the city could have used the money any way they wanted…. I would be a little concerned.

  5. How Does one go about getting a grant for one of these fancy rides? I need to find me a good grant writer! Got any connections Joy?
    Myrtle takes her job very seriously! One of the main reasons I avoid businesses downtown. :(

  6. Love your blog and post! TOO CUTE! Just poppin in from the LBS Tea Party.

    Jenny @ Jems From Jenny

  7. If I were Myrtle I would certainly be weary of you. When I read the post, I read it as demeaning. Pay your tickets and get over it or park where you are supposed to. Who cares if it is 8 blocks or 4 blocks. It is not you walking the streets in the summer sun and inclement weather......

  8. Also, I would love to know if you are paid for those breaks you are taking while going out to move your know...those alarms that you set as a reminder on your iphone? Seems to me you are abusing the time clock.....

  9. Anonymous — I'm not a city employee. And also, I do not punch a clock. I, like the rest of the employees move their vehicles in a timely manner. However, on the subject of getting paid to take breaks... maybe we should discuss all the people who smoke on the clock??

  10. Well, I WAS over this, but now we're bringing smokers into it? Really? For every so many hours you work on most any job, you get a 10 or 15 minute break to do whatever you feel like, wheter it be smoke, take a nap, run an errand,'s your 15 minutes to take a break from your work.

  11. I'm sorry.... I didn't catch the part where she was being demeaning towards Myrtle at all... just saying.

  12. @ Miss Rosie, I do admit I do not know all the small details on said grant, but I do know that any questions you would like answered, you could direct to Capt Rick McCary who is our grant manager at the PD

  13. Deanna - you just reiterated my point. It's no difference from me moving my car than it is for someone to take a smoke break.

  14. Thanks Deanna, I will ask him.

    I know that with the FD you have to say "we will buy ### air packs", I just can't see the city requesting these scooters. In the's hot, regardless if you are walking or riding, and as far as it raining... I don't see a roof on that thing. Nothing against Myrtle, but I would think getting on and off that thing, turning it off so it won't get stolen... etc.... would be a real pain in the a$$.

  15. Apparently, this is all a joke you considering and I quote from the twitter column on your blog....

    "I'm laughing uncontrollably right now. Oh the drama that gets my blog more hits tonight".

    Maybe you should be required to do that job when it is a 101 degrees in the heat of summer except you should be required to manage those 8 blocks that you mentioned ON FOOT! You hit below the belt on this one.

  16. You have to admit, it is entertaining. Who would have thought that my "little blog" would have so many voicing their opinions. I can't wait to tell Myrtle tomorrow about how she was the topic of conversation tonight. And especially how it got started. She IS famous in a small town!

  17. Lauren Amber JamesApril 26, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    I didn't find this demeaning @ all. She mentioned several times what a great job Myrtle did. And as far as the reason for the city buying the scooter....Summer is hot in MS, whether you are walking or riding a scooter. Wouldn't it have been more economical & efficient to buy Myrtle a motorized fan? Joy was simply questioning the city of Meridian...not screaming yank Myrtle off the damn thing. Geez.

  18. did anyone ask Myrtle what she thought about driving that thing around?

    I agree with Lauren 100%

    Good job Joy!

  19. FYI - I now do not owe ANYTHING for parking tickets and the city still has a check for $36 that they have yet to deposit. However, I'm waiting for them to deposit it because there will be another visit with my canceled check to have them issue ME a check for $36. I will save the topic of how one of my payments for parking tickets was issued to another account, another day. Oh and I walked to the police department, over 4 blocks... in 3 inch heels, there and back.

  20. I love Joy's blog, and I love Joy.

    I didn't find this post to be demeaning toward Myrtle in any way whatsoever. Joy was simply presenting her opinion on some issues within our city: how our tax dollars are spent, as well as the issue that MANY downtown employees & patrons are frustrated with--parking & parking tickets.

    I love Joy's clever and witty way of presenting these concerns using a little humor... something we can all use more of in our lives. It certainly got you all to read, didn't it??

    How the City of Meridian chooses to use our tax dollars is ALWAYS fair game for discussion and debate amongst Meridian taxpayers... Joy had every right to state her opinion... and I, for one, couldn't agree with her more.

    Thank you Joy for always being honest and true to yourself... this is YOUR blog, where better to state YOUR opinion? Thanks for always writing something that's a joy to read :)

  21. So glad Myrtle has a T-3 personal mobility and really not concerned where the money came from for her to have it. This will help to make her job easier although I am sure she never complained about having to walk the 8 blocks for 8 hours daily in all kinds of miserable weather. I am sure she is much healthier than all of the employees who have to walk a short distance to move their cars every couple of hours. Which brings me to why Myrtle is needed so badly in the down town area to keep the cars moving. If she did not do this then there would not ever be any parking available for the patrons who come to the down town area to do their business, shop and eat in your establishments because all of you employees/owners of the business are taking up the parking spaces closest to your offices. Personally I think it would be a good idea if all of you employees and business owners would park in the parking garage, pay the monthly fee and take a brisk walk to your offices in the mornings and back in the evenings. This way you too would get some of your daily exercise as Myrtle does, keep the parking garage full and an income coming in to maintain it. And best yet, it would give the people who are coming to your establishment a place to park close by, take care of their reason for being there and move on for someone else to have parking… Now what would be wrong with that? Just a thought.

  22. I enjoyed your post! Many moons ago I worked in downtown Meridian for 8 yrs. Myrtle was not the meter maid back then. It was a tall woman who looked like she could and would tackle you in a heart beat. We begged back then...30 some odd yrs ago... for them to give us parking passes and pay a monthly fee but nooooooooo. We had to drive our cars around the block to remove the nasty little white chalk. Myrtle is just doing her job but it's a job that she applied for and accepted. Paid for with GRANT money...that's even worse...nice to know what all that stimulus money is going towards.

  23. To answer the question about parking in the garage and paying their monthly fee — I would be spending more time walking to and from than doing my job. If I had an 8 - 5 job where I sat behind a desk that entire time, I would park in the garage. However, my job requires me to be out and about which means I'm in and out of the office throughout the day. Once or twice a month am I ever in the office a full day and that is when I tend to get parking tickets.

    And as the last comment from anonymous stated, yes, it is OUR tax dollars that pays for grants. Grants are funded by our federal tax dollars...


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