BIDDEFORD – Stickers on the newly installed parking kiosks have sparked another barb in the battle for parking in Biddeford, this time in the form of a restraining order.

Biddeford resident Jason Litalien has, via email, stated that he would be willing to drop his impending lawsuit if the city will admit that it installed parking meters, dropping the use of the term “kiosks.”

“As a council, you have the opportunity to fix this. You can show the voters that you respect them and their voices and you can end this nonsense now. If the city will agree that it installed parking meters in the greater downtown area. I am willing to drop my lawsuit,” reads Litalien’s Nov. 29 email to the mayor, city manager, and city council, obtained by a Freedom of Access Act request.

Litalien said he received no responses to the email.

The email followed the installation of the parking kiosks downtown on Nov.29, which, when installed, had stickers on the front that read “Instructions to pay meter.” The stickers have since been replaced with those that instead read “Instructions to pay.”

“The city knew they were installing meters. They can use the word ‘kiosk’ all they want, but that sticker says what they are, meters. One of them even says ‘downtown meter.’ How does that not violate the referendum?” said Litalien during a Dec. 17 interview.


A 2014 binding citizens referendum asked voters, “Shall the City of Biddeford install parking meters in the greater downtown Biddeford area?” The vote was 6,761 no and 959 yes.

In Litalien’s email, his dropping of the lawsuit would be contingent on the city agreeing to not charge for parking downtown lots until a referendum overturning the 2014 referendum is passed.

Litalien said organizing another citizen’s referendum is an avenue he has considered. Litalien would need to gather signatures of 15 percent of residents who voted in the 2018-midterm elections.

Bennett declined to comment on the possibility of another referendum, saying that such a decision was one for the council.

Litalien filed an injunction against the city to halt the recently launched parking plan, which has implemented an hourly charge or optional permits on a number of city-owned parking lots downtown. Litalien served the city with a complaint on Oct. 23 and then with a preliminary injunction the following Friday, Oct. 26. The complaint served as the first step toward a formal injunction, which, if approved by a judge at the York County Superior Court, will require the city to halt the paid parking plan.

The parking plan launched Dec. 1 after a month-long delay, which city officials attributed to an equipment holdup.


On Nov. 30, Litalien submitted a motion for reconsideration of a request for atemporary restraining order, having been previously been denied the initial restraining order against the city, filed Oct. 23 with the intention of halting the implementation of fees. The restraining order was again denied, but came accompanied with a note that said the denial was not because Litalien does not have a valid argument, but because the court wants to give city the opportunity to respond. A preliminary injunction hearing has not been scheduled. According to Litalien, a clerk of the courts affirmed that a hearing would be scheduled for January.

In a Dec. 3 FOAA Request, Biddeford resident Kathy Russell requested records pertaining to the replacement of the stickers, asking for copies of communications between the company and the city, purchase orders, and billable hours having to do with the project. While the response to the FOAA states that no such records exist, City Manager James Bennett clarified during a Dec. 17 interview that this does not mean that no costs were associated.

“According to FOAA compliance, we don’t have to create a document,” Bennett said. “If there was no purchase order for new stickers, we don’t have to draft one to fulfill a FOAA.”

Bennett confirmed that there was no charge from the company to replace the stickers.

In emails obtained via Russell’s Dec. 3 FOAA, an email to city councilors from Communications Coordinator Danica Lamontagne on Nov. 29 read, “This morning, when the kiosks were installed, a sticker on the front on top of the directions for use read ‘Instructions to Pay Meter,’ as opposed to using the word ‘kiosk.’ Since the kiosks had already been introduced to the public with that verbiage, those stickers are remaining on the machine at this time.”

Ward 3 Councilor Stephen St. Cyr responded to that email Nov. 30.

“While I understand the difference between meters and kiosks and parking in the lots vs. parking on the street, I think we should remove the sticker and replace it with language that refers to kiosks instead of meters and maybe even remove the reference to downtown.”

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