Sept. 15 -- To the Editor:

I read Mr. Hensonís editorial concerning the pilot program with great interest. You see, I live on one of the streets that would be most impacted by the permit program, and have long wondered why cities like Boston can provide for their residents and Portsmouth cannot. I think about the times my elderly neighbors cannot leave their homes to shop because they know when they come back there will be nowhere to park. I think about the times I come home from work and cannot find places to park near my home. I think about the times I have shoveled snow to clear a space and never had one of the day parkers offer to help.

Mr. Henson may not be aware of the parking available to those going to PPAF or Strawbery Banke can park at Strawbery Banke, and how if these cars are parking for free, it costs the city and Strawbery Banke income. He may also not be aware that there are several free lots in easy walking distance from the Wentworth Senior Living. I wonder if Mr. Henson has given up his parking to allow some of his workforce to park.

But then I considered the real issue here. The question of permit parking is very much one that is part of the major issue facing this town: who is more important, the tax-paying residents or the businesses? Everybody who lives here suspects that businesses do not carry their weight in supporting the city, but do demand a large part of the resources. Mr. Henson complains about a $50,000 a year tax bill. Has he ever looked at the tax rolls of the residences around the Wentworth?

Mr. Henson will probably win. It seems in Portsmouth, business always wins.

Richard Tomb