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Oakland parking problem: another one for Rebecca Kaplan

Oakland Parking is STILL a problem
Yes. Another Oakland Parking problem. This space continues to receive tips and emails from Oaklanders and people visiting Oakland who have horrible parking stories they want to share with the World.

Since Oakland's At-Large Councilmember and would-be mayoral candidate Rebecca Kaplan thinks it's OK for Oakland to use parking fees to balance its budget, even at the expense of the poor from what was yelled to this blogger earlier this year, and without provocation or apology from Councilmember Kaplan (and not bloggers who support her run for Mayor), this space will continue to present each Oakland Parking problem to her. The last one was from Nick Mitchell, who complained of the ugly DMV and Oakland system that works to cause late payment of parking fines.

This one is from an Oaklander, Terese Tatum, who shared a letter sent to Oakland Parking Head Noel Pinto:

Dear Mr. Arnold and Mr. Pinto,

I have spent hours on the phone and left a number of voicemails and have had no response. Although I could simple pay this ticket and avoid this hassle, it is an erroneous ticket. On principal, I will continue to call and email the City of Oakland until it is appropriately dealt with. I would appreciate a response as soon as possible.

On April 10, 2010, ticket #1602620950 was issued at 3321 Webster Street in Oakland. The car was parked in a spot with inactive meter (meter head had been removed) and a Pay-to-Park machine did not accept money and stated "Coming Soon". In other words, there was no viable way to pay for parking.

I approached the parking enforcement officer and asked him why he gave me a ticket. He stated that "it was Pay-to-Park". I told him that the machine was not currently available. He apologized and realized he made a mistake and he took the ticket back from me and stated that it would be cleared.

In order to dispute a ticket, I must respond within 21 days. However, I never receive the ticket in my hand (because he took it back) and I never received the notice of payment or late payment via mail (I have double-checked that my car is registered to my current address). I only learned of this tickets while online paying for another (legitimate) parking ticket. Now I am being charged $127.00 for what I consider to be an absolutely erroneous ticket.

Please also note that when this parking enforcement officer learned of his mistake, he took my ticket and drove off, knowingly leaving ~10 tickets on the cars in front and behind me that were also written in error. This type of behavior is appalling and appeared to be an egregious attempt to take money from citizens who believed they were parked legally.

Thank you,
Terese Tatum

In other words, the parking enforcement officer didn't remove the copy of the ticket, and for a simple reason: they don't care. If the parking enforcement officer had to pay for the error, they would take steps to remove it. Instead, Terese Tatum suffers for it.

Councilmember Kaplan, that's not right and Oaklanders know it. It's not OK to raise revenue in this way. This practice must end.
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