Those with parking tickets and late fees in Oak Park prior to 2018 are expected to get some relief from the village through an amnesty program that will waive late fees temporarily later this year.
The move is an effort by the village to collect on some 180,000 citations issued between 2004 and 2017 worth a combined $10 million.
Oak Park Adjudication Director Robert Anderson said an amnesty program for tickets in 2004 netted the village about $100,000.
Village Manager Cara Pavlicek said the proposal would give ticket holders a full month – Feb. 4 through March 4 – to pay their overdue tickets without late fees. All booting of vehicles would cease during the amnesty month.
The effort would help the village in its implementation of the new Unified Parking Technology system, which launches shortly after the amnesty program concludes.
The paid parking tickets "could reduce the amount of converted data to be imported into the new system," according to a report by the village.
Following the amnesty month, late fees would be reapplied to all unpaid tickets.
Trustee Deno Andrews, among other trustees, voiced support for the amnesty plan, calling late fees "regressive" and "overwhelming to a lot of residents."
He suggested expanding the amnesty period to a full fiscal quarter, saying that giving only a month is probably not enough time.
Trustee Simone Boutet said it is a "great opportunity to collect money we wouldn't have collected." She supported increasing the timeframe to three months instead of one.
"I think it's necessary from an equity perspective," she said.
Trustee Jim Taglia suggested expanding the amount of time motorists are given to pay parking tickets.
Currently, the village gives motorists 10 days to pay their tickets or the fine doubles.
"It's not fair, and it's not right," he said in a telephone interview, calling it a matter of equity for those unable to pay fines so quickly. "This is one of the reasons we end up with so many people who don't pay."
The village is expected to approve the amnesty ordinance at a future meeting.
Answer Book 2019
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