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Here’s The Scoop …. Parking In LBTS … It’s Past It’s Expiration Date ….

September 20, 2009 by Barbara

IT ALL STARTED WITH THE CONSENT AGENDA….

Dear Readers…It all started with the consent agenda on April 28,2009 when Commissioner Dodd looked at the backup for the Autocite handheld ticket devices and realized it was much more than just a $2100 purchase…(prev. posts)……It was a large contract for parking citations that was much more lucrative and one that had not been put out for an RFP…This writer wrote about it and then wrote about the disgraceful RFP ad  (it was a 1″ad) reluctantly placed by the Town to appease Comm. Dodd  along with the lack of response from it…One company (IyeTek ) saw the RFP post decided to look into it and come to the next meeting to discuss it … and since then we have had a total stoppage of reading all the RFPs aloud, which certainly looked like payback from the Town Manager…we’ve had another meeting where there was a showdown between the Town Manager and Asst. Town Manager Olinzock and Commissioner Dodd along with some very unprofessional back and forth discussion that resulted in some statements made from the Town Manager in her “expert” comparison between her choice of company and the gentleman’s company ( IyeTek) that appear to be purposefully skewed…leading  the Town Manager to put forth a need for a procurement employee like it was a threat … Com. Dodd  then asked for both procurement information which is on the Tuesday night agenda…and for a 3 year comparison to set the record straight on her statements concerning the Parking Citation companies which will be addressed at the 2nd meeting in October…

Due to the above, this writer decided to attend the LBTS monthly Parking Hearing held each month in Jarvis Hall (3rd Wed.) at 3 pm… I first checked the Town Website …
which has obviously not been updated…

” PARKING”…

The Parking Department oversees parking meter operations. The Town currently has more than 600 metered parking spaces. Lauderdale-By-The-Sea employs three full-time parking meter readers and a full-time meter repair technician.

RESIDENT PARKING DECALS

The Town sells a limited number of parking decals to residents. There are approximately nine reserved parking spots in Town where residents can park their vehicles at the beach. To qualify for an annual parking decal, which costs $17.88, you must be a bonafide resident of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. For proof of residency, the Town prefers a Florida Drivers License or light bill. We will also accept a copy of your lease or deed. The parking decal is good from Oct. 1 to Sept. 31 (the Town’s Fiscal Year). The fee is not pro-rated and costs $17.88, whether it’s purchased on Oct. 1st or Sept. 30th.

PARKING METER FEES

Fees range from .25 cents to $1 per hour, depending on where you park.

PARKING METER ENFORCEMENT

Parking is enforced 24/7 at the parking meters east of State Road A1A. West of State Road A1A, from Bougainvillea Drive west to the Intracoastal Waterway, and 200 feet north and south of Commercial Boulevard on Bougainvillea and Poinciana Street, parking is enforced from 6 PM Friday to 7 AM Monday. Note: Parking is prohibited at the Datura Avenue portal from 9 PM to 5 AM.

PARKING TICKETS

Normal parking ticket violations are $25. Handicapped parking violations are $250. If you receive a ticket, you have 10 days to notify the Town if you plan to appeal the violation. You have 24 hours to notify the Town if the meter is broken or not working properly. All the instructions are printed on the back of the ticket.

ANGLE AGAINST TRAFFIC PARKING PROHIBITED

Florida law requires drivers to park in the direction of traffic flow, which prohibits you from backing into angled parking spaces. If you back your vehicle into an angled parking spot anywhere in the Town, you will be cited for illegal parking.

PARK WITHIN THE WHITE LINES

The lines for all parking spaces are painted white. You will be cited if your vehicle is not within the lines of the parking space.'”

To verify I then went to look at the Code of Ordinances online at the Town website…BUT…it too is not updated…
CODE OF ORDINANCES
Town of
LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, FLORIDA

Codified through
Ordinance No. 2009-17, enacted March 24, 2009.
(Supplement No. 6)

Although the Town Manager has listed the 86% 0f the Town Codes put forth were revised …as a 2009 “major accomplishment” in the 2009-10 budget…….they are not yet up and running…..online…

The parking hearing itself was quite an eye opener…It meets in the hall with the Special Magistrate, Gordon B. Linn (Pompano Beach Town Atty.) ….. beside him on the dais is Asst. Town Clerk Nikki Smith, The Town Receptionist (Karen) and seated in the back is Parking Supervisor Joan Garrett…All the parking violators sign in and are then sworn in by the judge. They then wait to be called up and are asked to state their names and state they have been sworn in…On this day there were 14 people who came to the hall and this is how it went…

1. man blocked pedestrian walkway, a photo showed the Washingtonia Portal..it was a true and accurate photo-dismissed/2. man parked in a residential spot but it was on a Comm. meeting night and there is no charge for meters that night (the gentleman was told by the Town to send note in w/ ticket, he was still given notice to appear, went last mo. (no judge), Joan was called up to verify rule-dismissed/ 3. woman parked in wrong space (handicapped) at Walgreens, boyfriend in car, not accepted excuse, judge lowered chg. from $250 t0 $200/ 4. man parked in El Prado put wrong # in for parking space- dismissed w/warning … no 2nd chance /5. man expired meter lightning excuse- upheld/6. woman parked in Beach permit spot handicapped, had handicapped permit, did not know new permitted parking- waived/ 7. woman no parking receipt for space wrong #- waived, warning for no 2nd chance/ 8. woman expired meter letter contested was read, thought parking still free- reduced fee to $15 (woman appeared at July hearing -no judge)/9. man expired meter contested time, meter working verified reduced ticket $15/ 10. woman expired meter checked meter contested time, meter checked out proper, woman still contested it reduced ticket $15/ 11. man expired meter “not possible” contested meter officer, meter checked out  proper, man angry said he won’t eat at “Village Grille” again (where he was dining) Judge said it was not their fault, upheld/ 12. man expired meter locked keys in car, waived/13. woman came for husband no receipt for parking in El Prado and she had it happen as she parked for hearing, Judge could not take her word for husband (he was not sworn)choice to have husband come next mo. or pay, upheld/ 14. woman expired meter contested correct time, will mail in receipt to waive…

Then the Judge ruled on out- of- town violators…approximately 31..most were upheld… $$$$$$……

The process itself is in need of some streamlining…What we were told is a person get a ticket…then if the ticket is not paid in 10 days…they receive a letter to come to the hearing…then at the hearing they are told they will receive another letter that will inform them the ticket was dismissed or upheld. which will now be paid…lots of steps…added costs…

It is something that should be discussed at the October meeting…. Also of concern is the El Prado parking meters…It seems there is an ongoing problem with no paper receipts coming out and also a problem of getting a ticket for putting the wrong # on your receipt then putting it on your car…… if you are parked in #2 but put in the machine #3…then put it on your car (parked in the #2 space) …..it’s a violation……This writer was told that it would mess it up for the car parked in #3 and so on and so forth…BUT, that makes no sense…If I park in #2, pay for 2 hours but decide to leave after 20 minutes, certainly someone else can park in #2 right away…and they would have to go to the machine and put in #2 to pay……unlike the old style individual meters, they cannot use up my time…they require their own receipt…So it seems that should be looked into, and perhaps the rules need to be changed…it’s definitely a waste of time and money…And one last item, that needs to be addressed after March 2010…to get rid of the (CIC patronage) beach permit parking…the Parking Department should do a study, because it is a whole lot of wasted prime parking that sits empty or results in a violation for those who use them……

Parking in LBTS ……it needs to be pasture-ized…

more to come…

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