Skaneateles: Don't get the boot - pay your parking tickets

Some people may not be happy with Local Law No. 1 of 2010, but those people didn't turn out for a public hearing Monday night about the new parking legislation in the village of Skaneateles.

The new law, which the board of trustees unanimously voted in favor of, gives the village authority to go after outstanding parking tickets, said Mayor Bob Green.

In favor of the law, but unable to stay for the public hearing, Justice Charlie Major told the board anything they have to do would be helpful.

A few months ago, Trustee Kathryn Carlson came up with 42 pages of outstanding tickets -- a list that included violators who had three or more unpaid tickets.

"I know people who have stacks of parking tickets from the parking lot," Major said.

Because in the past there has been no way to go after delinquent fines and parking violators, many who have received tickets haven't paid them.

In essence, the former procedure for collecting fines and keeping track of tickets was "a joke" that sorely needed to be remedied, according to Major.

The new law includes a notice schedule for violators. After the original ticket is issued, violators will have 30 days to pay it before receiving notice that they have an outstanding ticket. There will be no increase in fine for that time period.

According to the local law, fines will be doubled if they are not paid within 60 days of the citation, provided a late payment notice has been sent at least 30 days after the original citation.

If the fine still is not paid for, the violator risks getting his or her vehicle "booted" and possibly impounded until all fines are paid. The law has provisions for a wheel lock removal fee of $50.

Even though the first round of notification is pretty relaxed, Trustee Tim Lynn said on average 40 percent of people "pay their tickets as a matter of course." It is not fair for the other 60 percent to get away with not paying.

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