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As Oakland Councilmembers like Jean Quan remind you that on Tuesday they voted to roll back parking enforcement times from 8 P.M. to 6 P.M., a terrible and really hurtful act is being done by the City of Oakland and its harming a lot of Oaklanders.
The City of Oakland's instructed parking enforcement staff to just check license plates on cars to make sure the registrations' up to date. If it's not, even if the car's legally parked and regardless of the records error the driver is fighting, they will tow it. This is happening every day and now it happened to me.
I had a DMV registration charge that I proved was too high from 2008. My 2009 costs were paid already but this matter has been in dispute and we finally resolved it and at a cost I could afford. Meanwhile I was barely using the car for obvious reasons, and staying around the neighborhood. But, late for a lunch meeting on Thursday, I parked on the street, paid the meter ticket, and when I came out less than the time I had paid for, the car was gone.
That was a punch in the stomach. Fortunately I am able to pay DMV on Monday, but I learned the City of Oakland's towing cars on what many, many people have described as a "sting" operation. I've walked by random Oaklanders who say they can't afford to get their car out of the tow yard and they were legally parked.
Yes. We can all say that we should work to keep our registration up to date, but in the past the City of Oakland would give you an "expired tag" ticket which at least gave one time to get the money to fix the problem.
A lot of people are without work - no job at all. No money coming in to pay for anything or just barely getting by. I overheard one man say he had to spend almost $2,000 for his car. A friend of mine on Facebook posted that she owed $1,400 in tickets. Fortunately she, like me, has a job.
But the problem is the City of Oakland's parking records are faulty and don't reflect if a payment for a ticket was made through DMV (as I do) in a timely fashion. In other words, it could take years for the payment of a ticket to show up in the City's records.
Does that mean if you paid DMV registration which covered a ticket two years ago, the City of Oakland's records may not reflect that - and you could pay twice?
This is an outrage of massive proportions because it comes at a time when people need their money just to make ends meet. I'm happy to be in the position I'm in and have money coming in, but I feel for those I just happen to over hear on the street or the gym or talk to.
It's a rampant Oakland parking tow sting operation.
Some people don't like to talk about it which is why it goes "under the radar" while the City Council pats itself on the back for rolling back parking times. Big deal. I'm blogging about it because I'm no different than anyone else except I do have a "big mouth" and I'm using it to help those less fortunate.
City of Oakland, stop this sting operation, NOW. Please. You're hurting a lot of Oaklanders in a city who's unemployment rate is at around 25 percent or more in some areas. It's not right to try and balance the budget on the backs of Oakland's poor. They need their cars just to get to whatever job they may find; now you take that away from them for your own money needs.
That's not right at all. Help Oaklanders, don't hurt them. Some cold folks out there may jump for joy over the misfortune of others because they are "anti-car" but that's really selfish. Some of those same Oaklanders have no problem asking a person with a car for a ride home. Now if that person doens't have a car, the anti-car person's stuck too, right?
City of Oakland and City Administrator Dam Lindheim, how about a more civil way of handling this? Or does it have to happen to you before you get what others are feeling? I hope not.
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