Monday, November 10, 2008

Mayor writes himself a ticket to court

Mayor writes himself a ticket to court Mountain or molehill? There are, of course, two sides.
No. There are more than two sides. Even a coin has three sides, as you've got to count the edge.

First, the elected official needs to be honest. Don't use the ticket book and scratch another person's name on the citation. That's a lie. That's not honest and not 'transparent.'

Second, the elected official needs to do his or her job -- and not "over reach." The purpose of government needs to be understood and followed. As wires get crossed, things get ugly, very quickly. And, in turn, solutions are hard as hell to develop.

When city council becomes a developer, then the developers become the law setters.

If everyone did what the role called for them to do, then we'd be much better.

Our bus system builds a tunnel. Our housing authority sells air rights. Our stadium authority, from the time of Three Rivers Stadium, still exists.

Third, I have no problem with citations being delivered by folks other than the police -- if that policy can be passed by the people.

It would be great if the citizens could slap a ticket onto a parked car that blocks an intersection. We don't need the police to do that, all the time. If a dog drops a stinker on the sidewalk that isn't picked up -- it could result in a ticket for the dog owner, without police intervention. But, we'd need to adjust the regular mode of operations to allow that to occur.

If there is a will, there is a way. Some checks and balances need to be established. Some evidence of credit needs to be earned by the one who has the authority to deliver the ticket.

Judges will decide in the end. Fines need to be modest, if not minimal.

This theme, taken with a larger view, is much like a pollution case getting handed to a corporation from a neighbor rather than the EPA. Damages done can be collected in court between private parties.

We all have standing with air polution, illegally parked cars, and dogs crap on sidewalks.

"Our position is that in order for a parking ticket to be issued it has to be issued under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, and only a police officer has the power to do that, to issue a citation."

That's B.S. Is a ticket a criminal procedure? And, what became of the notion that everyone is responsible for fighting crime?

I'd love to see expanded operations of the school crossing guards. They should be given the ability to write tickets. If a car speeds by a bus stop and the crossing guard takes notice of the license plate -- a ticket could / should be mailed to the car owner. I'd much rather have those powers in the hands of people rather than automatic stop-light cameras.

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