Clearwater Beach, Florida - Clearwater Beach has been voted Florida's best beach town.
It's a populardestination spotfor tourists and locals alike.But for many of thehardworking employeeswho cook, serve and clean up the hotel rooms along the beachjust getting to the jobis becoming a huge challenge.
Finding a place to parkout at Clearwater Beachis already tight most days, butduring the busy seasonstarting on February 14 through the middle of April, it really becomes difficult- especially forthose tryingto make a livingin the area.
Elizabeth Makowskisays she and her co-workers at Frenchy's Rockaway Grill continue to see free parking spotsconverted to metered spots.The parking lotright in front of their restaurant is a pay lot, and employee's are banned from parking there anyway.
"When I first started parking was plentiful and it was never an issue," said Makowski.
She said it's the workerswho make Clearwater Beach a fun place to visit.
"We're the ones who should be given a break on the parking. We make this beach what it is. We bring back the customers and we keep them coming back."
But the struggle to find a place to park every day and pay for it too, isn'teasy.
"We cannot leave in the middle of our shifts to go re-up on a meteror re-up on a pay station," saidMakowski.
Breaking the rules and getting a ticket means facingan evenhigher cost.
We talked to Joelle Castelli, a spokeswomanwith the City of Clearwater, and she said millions of dollars are generated from the meters and pay lots, and that most of the moneycomes from touristsand not workers.
"We're talking about millions of dollars.365 days of lifeguards is paid for by the parking fund, as well as every single morning they rake the beach."
Makowski told 10 News the city's solution of having beach employees shell out $40 dollars a month for a parking permit isn't the answer either, at $480 bucks a year.
"We can't afford that," Makowski said.
She's circulating a petition now- asking otherpeople whowork along Clearwater Beach to join her in askingcity leaders togive them a break.
Follow 10 News Anchor Tammie Fields on twitter @tammiefields