OP's 'parking posse' makes life unbearable for residents

Opinion

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Recently, both my husband and I got tickets for not displaying our current license plate stickers. This also happened to be the first week of August when on-street parking stickers need to be updated. For the record, both our cars had updated license plate stickers.

We did not have our renewed on-street parking stickers. However, there is a 5-day grace period to renew your stickers. I confirmed this with the parking permit folks at the village.

When I went in to get our renewed parking permit stickers, I showed them the two tickets we got that morning. The person quickly told me that the tickets had nothing to do with the expired parking permits stickers because it was still during the grace period. This person confirmed that they contact the Oak Park police and let them know that they can start ticketing cars that do not have current parking permits. This person said that the Oak Park police had not been contacted as of that date to start ticketing. This person questioned me about the license plate stickers to confirm they were indeed updated. I told her they were and had, in fact, taken pictures of both cars to show that they were up to date.

This person then took me aside and told me that the Officer #814 who gave us the tickets is a seasoned officer who knows that there is a grace period with parking permits. This person told me that these tickets we got were illegal, that the officer gave us tickets using a violation code (#15-5-5) that did not match the violation because Officer #814 knew that he was not supposed to be issuing tickets for expired parking permits yet. What he did do was put in the "Remarks" section on the ticket "Expired Permit."

This person told me that I should contact Mr. Allen Payne who is the Parking Enforcement Assistant Manager of Parking Services and Mr. Alva Johnson who is the Manager of Parking Services. This person said that I should clearly let them know that Office #814 is issuing illegal parking tickets. I followed the advice by sending both men an e-mail the same day.

I never received a reply from either man. They completely ignored what I had to tell them.

I did contest both tickets, and they were cancelled since I was able to show with pictures that we were not in the wrong. The onus was on us to prove our innocence when we did nothing wrong in the first place.

Officer #814 obviously did not do this without consent from above. The Village of Oak Park parking posse is certainly making living in Oak Park difficult for its own residents. Now with the addition of illegal parking tickets being issued, they are downright pushing people to their limits. Why stay in a village that wants to make living there impossible? Are they more concerned that tourists can find parking instead of their own residents?

Interestingly enough, the next day we found a parking ticket thrown on the ground. It was issued by Officer #814 to a car that had temporary plates and for the same violation, "No current State Registration displayed." Since when did we start putting license plate stickers on temporary plates?

So Officer #814 continues to give out illegal tickets and the Village of Oak Park turns a blind eye because it means they get to rake in almost $3 million this year.

Of course, when the Chicago police spend most of the days in our village doing the work for the Oak Park police, it certainly frees them up to ticket people for parking violations. This explains why they can't solve any murders around here. I, for one, will be saying good riddance to this town with its insane parking posse.

AnnMarie Gleason
Oak Park

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