Retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez’s patience meter for the city’s new Downtown parking meters has run out. She writes in a commentary “patrons of downtown businesses are given tickets without ever being told, warned, advised or otherwise notified that pulling over into an empty space for more than 5 minutes will result in a $40.00 ticket.” The commentary also appears in the CT Post.
In Washington, President Trump promises to drain the swamp.
In Bridgeport, Mayor Ganim, aided and abetted by his Rubber Stamp City Council, is content to feed the alligators!
President Trump wants to build a wall.
Mayor Ganim has built a bridge to the corruption of the 1990s while imposing a ‘technology tax’ on Bridgeport residents.
Where is our ethics czar? Paging Ed Adams!!!
In his March 3, 2017 article, CTPOST reporter Brian Lockhart provided readers with a look at the impact of new parking meters.
On February 6, I came face-to-face with one of these “RoboCops” a/k/a Smart Meters. Nothing on the street was different, other than the new meters. There was absolutely no signage warning a downtown visitor of what a brief stop at a new meter would trigger.
On that date, I took my 89-year-old dad to Lafayette Barbershop on Broad Street. The barbershop, owned and operated by Juan Santiago is located across the street from the Annex. As is my custom, I pulled into a space in front of the barbershop, helped my dad out of the car, and escorted him into the shop. I then returned to the car and waited until Mr. Santiago signaled to me that my dad was ready to be escorted back to the car. My dad doesn’t have much hair these days, so the hair cut is usually quick. We then left to return home.
One week later, on February 13, 2017, I received a “Notice of Parking Violation” for failure to pay for parking on February 6, 2017. I immediately made a trip to the Police Department and was directed to the parking enforcement window. There I was greeted by Mr. Bukovsky (my council member’s husband). He is not a police officer, but rather is employed by the City and assigned to collect the fines. I did not pay the penalty, but instead informed members of the police department to accept my appeal of the ticket. The appeal is pending.
Research on this latest scheme visited on the taxpayer revealed that on July 5, 2016, the City Council, without debate, approved an ordinance creating a “Parking Division.” Pursuant to the plain language of the ordinance, the “Director of Public Facilities” serves as the administrator of this new Parking Division with power to enforce parking regulations and the right to receive amounts remitted to the City for parking violations.
The Director of Public Facilities is John Ricci, a political appointee of Mayor Ganim.
The legislative history of this Ganim Scheme to fleece the taxpayer and downtown patron reveals a City Council complicit in the effort to keep the public uninformed and misled about its perpetual swamp management.
Not even the most cynical among us imagined that Council Member Milta Feliciano, a city employee and chair of the ordinance committee, would call a public hearing on the ordinance to order and adjourn it two minutes later. The public hearing was scheduled minutes before the City Council meeting on July 5, 2016. The ordinance was approved, without debate.
This new system, under the control of John Ricci, amounts to an Orwellian tax increase visited upon the people of Bridgeport through the use of technology and surveillance reminiscent of a maximum security prison. Parking meter revenue used to be deposited into the general fund. Now it has been diverted to a political appointee and a private corporation.
Due Process is a fundamental principle in our democracy. Bridgeport has now reached the point in its downward spiral, where patrons of downtown businesses are given tickets without ever being told, warned, advised or otherwise notified that pulling over into an empty space for more than 5 minutes will result in a $40.00 ticket.
You can’t placate the alligators; their appetite is insatiable!