Friday, August 17 , 2018, 4:48 pm | A Few Clouds 76º

 
 
 

Letter to the Editor: SBPD’s Memorial Day Ticketing Spree

It’s Monday in downtown Santa Barbara, but it’s not a normal Monday filled with the regular hustle and bustle of delivery trucks, business people, mail deliverers and city workers. It’s Memorial Day.

You could say the streets are quiet, save for the visitors and locals alike who fill restaurants and shops. Banks, offices and government buildings are closed. Nobody’s working. Even the police department is closed. But parking enforcement is still working.

This Memorial Day, you can’t look down a city street without finding sprouts of bright green tickets poking out from the windshields of vehicles guilty of “overtime parking.” It’s surprising to see so many tickets when there is such little motor activity on the streets and there is plenty of parking everywhere. Yet, for some reason the Santa Barbara Police Department has decided to issue the unsuspecting visitors and residents who are out actually spending money in our community silly, unnecessary and obtuse fines of $50 each.

Since the parking offenders never saw it coming, maybe the SBPD should have included a card that reads “Thanks for visiting Santa Barbara. Come back soon” to soften the blow. But in all seriousness, this is a tiny tragedy that represents the disconnect between the city government’s need to “administer” and truly dutiful service of facilitating the prosperity of the city’s inhabitants.

Is this what happens when a city is in debt? When it comes time to choose the distribution of city personnel, do “easy fines win every time”?

While there is nobody scrubbing the freshly spray-painted weekend work of our community dregs and dissidents stating ‘F*** the Police,” there are parking cops serving upright and engaged community members with a surplus of pointless parking tickets. At best this breeds discontent toward our city’s proudest departments and costs residents considerable cash. Heck, maybe the ugly and explicit graffiti on Figueroa Street was painted by a guy in a BMW who got a pointless parking ticket.

Happy Memorial Day.

Christian Maurer
Santa Barbara

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