The city will lose $52,000 in revenue when it gives drivers a parking holiday on Dec. 18 and 24.

The city earns about $20,000 each day in parking revenues and garners $12,000 in parking citation revenue each day, according to a report prepared by City Manager Phil Kamlarz. Dec. 24 is a city employee holiday anyway, so the city was not expecting citation revenue for that date.

Councilmembers Laurie Capitelli, Darryl Moore, and Susan Wengraf proposed a two-day parking meter holiday at last  week’s council meeting. They argued that it would show small businesses that the city is trying to help during the current economic recession. The discussion at the meeting grew pointed, as Kamlarz argued against the holiday because it would worsen the city’s fiscal health. Mayor Tom Bates joined with Councilmembers Kriss Worthington and Jesse Arreguin, with whom he usually disagrees, to oppose the proposal, but it passed anyway.

The city can program the multi-space parking meters so they tell patrons that Dec. 18 and 24 are meter holidays. But they won’t put a bag over standalone meters because the city does not have enough bags.

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...