I got a parking ticket a couple of weeks ago, and being a law-abiding citizen, I immediately mailed my check for $8. Unbeknownst to me (because I haven’t had a ticket in a long time), tickets had increased to $9. So I get another ticket in the mail for $10, and I have no idea what it’s for. I go to the parking department. Turns out because my check was $1 short and remained that way for more than a week, the original ticket doubled – so I now owed the additional dollar on the original ticket plus the $9 penalty. Could you please get a respectable portion of my money back? – Joe Bob McGuire
Action Line took up your case with the parking citations people – and there’s good news and bad news.
First the bad news: The ticket appeal was rejected out of hand, and there won’t be a refund of any kind.
Now the good news: Our broke city now has your 18 bucks, and your “contribution” might help pay for that faux red-brick diagonal crosswalk downtown that still doesn’t have diagonal signals.
Anyway, parking tickets need to be paid in full within seven days of being issued. After that, they double.
Though your intention was indeed noble, the check fell short by a buck, time elapsed and now you have to pay the hefty price.
Parking tickets have been $9 since January 2009, said Melody Murphy, who works for code enforcement and other city departments.
“You have to read the ticket,” she said. “It says $9 right at the top along with the fine schedule for late payments. It’s not in teeny, tiny fine print.”
All ticket appeals have to be submitted within 48 hours of receiving the ticket. During the appeal period, the ticket is on hold so it won’t double.
Appeals take 30 to 40 days, Melody said, and the process is handled via mail. If you do not agree with the decision of the municipal judge, you can appeal to county court.
“But no one has ever taken it that far,” Melody said.
Getting an orange envelope on your car is certainly annoying. But let’s put it in perspective.
Last year, while in Denver, the zealous parking cop tucked a “municipal greeting” on Mrs. Action Line’s windshield late one Saturday afternoon. It was 50 bucks for an expired parking meter.
Oh, Mrs. Action Line was not happy. But the fine was paid and the lesson learned.
At $18 after doubling, your hometown parking ticket is a deal. A raw deal, yes. But a deal nonetheless.
I understand that Durango requires dogs traveling in the back of open trucks to be safely restrained. Why, then, is it common to see canines in the back of pickups? Why aren’t drivers cited for exposing dogs to severe injury or death? The freedom to travel with the wind in your ears is great but not when it can result in tumbling onto the highway. – Woof Woof
Why do dogs ride freely in pickups? Because they can.
There is no law whatsoever requiring dogs to be restrained. Some counties and municipalities require it, but there is no such rule in Durango or La Plata County, according to Carol Cunefare, animal control officer.
“It drives me crazy,” she said. “You never know when you have to stop suddenly or make a quick turn. It’s a real risk for the dogs.”
Given the political climate, it is highly unlikely that any local lawmakers will prioritize what amounts to a seat belt rule for dogs.
After all, the city exhausted itself politically with the backyard chicken ordinance.
And the county? Gee, let’s see. Telling pup-totin’ pickup truck owners what to do. That’ll go over like an Obama rally at the grange.
E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you can explain why you never see a cat in pickup truck.