It took two years, but Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb and Trustee Arti Walker-Peddakotla finally found a topic on which they could wholeheartedly agree: Jacking up the cost of a parking ticket by $30 if it isn’t paid in 14 days has long frustrated Abu-Taleb. And when the mayor, in his waning days in office, proposed dropping the late fee to $10, calling it “low-hanging fruit for people who need help,” the entire village board signed on.
Abu-Taleb told the board that parking ticket fees should not be viewed as a revenue source but as a method to bring people into compliance. That approach thoroughly resonated with Walker-Peddakotla. “I really appreciate you, kind of, laying it out like that. And I agree with you,” she said.
Abu-Taleb, who has most often been at loggerheads with Walker-Peddakotla, responded “Arti, I appreciate you agreeing with me.”
Cue the weepy music. OK, maybe not. These two public servants disagree about a lot and they got off to and stayed on a rocky road. But this was a moment where they connected on what is a small thing but an emblematic example of how government doesn’t have to stick it to people without a lot of resources.
Good they found this common cause.