THE campaign has already started for this year's coming council elections with a promise by Mulgrave ward councillor Paul Klisaris last week to take the council's new senior citizens' parking initiative one step further.
The council passed a motion to improve senior citizen access to halls by:
■ Reconfiguring parking spaces around Clayton Hall to give users unrestricted parking.
■ Changing restrictions in the northern car park of Fregon Hall so users have unrestricted parking.
■ Changing signs in the north-east off-street car park near the Mount Waverley Community and Youth centres to three hours, with hall users being excepted.
■ Changing signs on parking spots in front of Oakleigh Hall in Drummond Street to two hours, with hall users being excepted.
Monash mayor Stefanie Perri stressed the changes were not a complete solution but would "vastly improve" parking concerns around the areas.
But Cr Klisaris called for a more far-reaching solution.
"I think we need to do better. I think we can," he said.
"What was tabled on Tuesday, while I supported it and welcomed something, I still think falls well short of the mark."
He said that if he were re-elected, he would propose that local senior citizens over 70 get stickers that they can fix to windscreens to allow them to park for an extra hour.
"They should be given the luxury and afforded the extra time they require to get their groceries, to have their coffee, to meet and greet with loved ones without fear of being booked. That's what I'm saying. It's not about hogging spaces, it's not about them sitting at tables and chairs all day. It's about respect, it's about making their life a little bit easier."
But the radical plan drew criticism from Glen Waverley ward councillor Geoff Lake, who condemned the move and announced his intention to run again.
Cr Lake said such a plan would strongly affect traders who relied on the parking restrictions and that he'd not be voting for the proposal if he were elected.
"What you're proposing will have dramatic effects on everyone in Monash," he said.
But Cr Klisaris said Cr Lake's arguments "made no sense".
"The community's not upset. The community hasn't got an issue. Traders have never said to me it's an unfair proposal. Geoff Lake seems to think it is but I think he's got it wrong.
"I don't believe the traders are concerned that their car parking spots are going to be absorbed by senior citizens who sit there all day."
Oakleigh Senior Citizens Club president Lee O'Brien, 94, said some of her club members had been using public transport because they couldn't find enough parking around the hall they used.