Tuesday, July 03, 2012

San Francisco: The predatory city

Parking enforcement vs. decency
Letters to the Editor
San Francisco Chronicle
July 1, 2012

I couldn't agree more with your recent editorial, "Welcome to S.F.---don't park here" (Insight, June 24), especially the phrase "misuse of law enforcement powers."

Two months ago, I was in the city parked behind a church to attend a funeral. When I returned to my car, it had a street cleaning parking ticket, issued seven minutes after the street cleaning time started and five minutes before I returned to the car.

I mailed to the city a copy of The Chronicle's obituary notice that contained the funeral's time, date and address. Instead of a dismissal, the reply read: "The circumstances you presented in your protest were insufficient to overcome the validity of the citation." The reply also threatened late penalties and warned: "Vehicle Registration Renewal will be withheld by the DMV as a result of failure to pay parking penalties."

It's a sad commentary on government when a $56 parking ticket is worth more to it than the value of human decency. I guess leaving a parking ticket on the funeral hearse would have been too much PR risk for the city.

John Molloy,
San Bruno

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