Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line: Parking in Somerville— a form of political chicanery that continues to shaking down residents–

Dear Billy T and Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line,

Billy,

As the new mayor of Somerville, will you do something to change the way traffic and parking department handles the predatory manner in which they fine the “non connected”, residents and taxpayers of this city?

Especially during the hype of covid, the city administration should have given us a break on the hyper-enforcement of ticket issuing.

My argument is based on many years of witnessing the ongoing passes their favorite people get for the same so called parking violations.

Someone should go around the city and post their vehicles for all to see. Since we know if your not a member of this crooked cabal, you are most certainly going to be extorted upon.

I have a few cases to share with you that I’m sure many residents would agree is clearly another form of corruption that residents have endured for nearly 2 decades.

How many residents have encountered the fraud during a so called snow emergency, without a snowfall?

In our case, a family member received a $100 fine listed as a violation of snow emergency when the fact is– we had not one flake of snow that day. On this particular day, it was Thanksgiving!

As other outraged residents and ticket recipients wrote on Facebook and other media outlets, including your newspaper, we learned how many were not only fined for $100, by T&P, but in many cases towed at $300-$400.

In another case, I was parked at a meter in Davis Square. Over the years, I had become hypervigilant and maintained quarters in my vehicle. I filled the meter with enough quarters to allow for sufficient time to return to my vehicle.

In this case, it didn’t matter. I noticed an orange ticket on my windshield, yet I still had 5 minutes left on the meter!

I called my ward alderman to complain. I didn’t contest the ticket because past experiences such as the bogus barrel cover schemes, snow removal on sidewalks, (1/4 inch layer of snow turned to ice overnight), caused delays and aggravation waiting for a hearing.

As I suspected it was all a waste of time because they rarely forgive the violation and add $30 late fees. Then you are met with an additional $50 late fee and if you persist, you receive a letter stating you may contest it in court, but forced to pay $125 non-refundable fee. Do the math– $80 or $125?

Where does the money go? Certainly not our crater ridden streets and crumbling sidewalks.

If many businesses are closed during covid, what’s the point in having a sticker?

Why can’t residents renew any month, (not always the designated month), so you pay for 12 nonths? Instead of 3-6 months. It’s just one scam after another!

Why should long time residents who pay for permit parking and visitors passes be subject to the cumbersome antics of this city administration due to the unscrupulous violators? Not all residents are treated as equals.

During covid, the neo-liberals insisted that every resident who wanted a permit was forced to provide current registration, utility bill, and a completed application? They were forced to it online. What about many seniors and veterans who are accustomed to renewing in person? I was told that they would get help renewing by phone. Why not everyone? Has anyone noticed how communication has deteriorated within the departments of Somerville? While other cities conduct business, they don’t.

That’s ridiculous. We never had to provide this information for a permit sticker especially when we have paid for parking permits and visitors passes for decades. They admit the T&P system has been compromised by enforcing the re-application process, but why should long time residents pay for their crimes? All it takes is a commitment to due diligence ==spelled as real w-o-r-k.

Even if a homeowner, tenant and visitor is parked on the street for a couple of hours, in front of the home they live or visit, traffic officers are writing $50-$100 tickets, in the early hours of the day– while giving shoddy developers a pass!

I have witnessed this in our neighborhood for over 2 years. In fact, a member of the planning department unintentionally revealed that employees of the abutting local college was helping themselves to free parking for years in our neighborhoods even after permit parking was enforced!

If you have a gathering at your home and your driveway is full, family stays over, make sure you let your guests have your driveway.

They are merciless tyrants!

Other towns do not do this to their constituency!

It’s time for a change and why many tenants leave this city! Landlords have heard their complaints for years.

We are tired if the shakedown by this self involved administration.

Good luck in the upcoming election. Make Somerville great again!

Please look into the shoddy practices of this city from top to bottom. And do a full and complete audit of all departments. You have a large following that have backed you since you announced your candidacy for mayor.

We need your help!

Respectfully yours,

Long time local who is fed up!

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Rebuttal comment from reader:

I have to negate the position of the person about traffic and parking. For his information, if people have a party they can call up in advance to traffic and parking and ask for relaxed parking on that particular street. Blame the Council and Traffic commission. Traffic and parking employees from director on down enforce the rules, we do not make them. The public needs to realize that. So Blame the Traffic commission and the Councilmen. Don’t blame traffic department. It all starts with our politicians passing these rules. we enforce them blame Mark, Mbah, JT and the rest of those morons.

Ned

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