PATONG: Patong Municipality will be unable to collect parking fees until at least December 1 because it has been unable to find enough people to do the collecting. The chief of the Patong Treasury Department, Poom Tapnarong, told the Gazette this afternoon that there have been only 11 applicants for the 25 vacancies for parking fee collectors. The big problem, he said, is that during the high season, hotels and other companies offer higher wages than the Patong Municipality can afford to pay. At first, the jobs were offered only to Thais resident in Phuket, but with 14 positions unfilled – and with time running out – officials are looking to other provinces to recruit the squad. Once the staffing problem is sorted out, the Patong Munincipality will call a meeting with all the vehicle rental companies to explain the rules and regulations. Patong Mayor Pian Keesin has stressed the importance of filling the vacancies as soon as possible in order to begin collection of the fees on December 1.
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