Officer in Charge Troy Boice suggested that the Village of Groton Board of Trustees strengthen its laws regarding parking violations in order to better enforce tickets at a meeting on Oct. 21.
“As it stands right now, if you were to give a parking ticket in the village, there’s no enforcement if you don’t pay it,” Boice said.
Boice said he had a meeting with the Town Court earlier that day to discuss the enforcement issue.
“I went and met with the court today, and I pulled the numbers of people that got parking tickets that haven’t paid and the ones who did pay,” he said. “The money should be going to the village, and I don’t think it all goes to the village. It’s going to the court.”
He said the village should be receiving that money, not the court.
“Because it’s under village code, all that money should come here to the village,” he said. “If we had an enforcement where we can enforce the person who gets three parking tickets unpaid, then we can…chalk the tire, tow the vehicle, impound the vehicle until it’s paid, like they do in the City of Ithaca, the City of Cortland.”
Mayor Chris Neville asked if there is no enforcement, then what is happening to an individual who receives two or three parking tickets that are being issued, to which Board Member Michael Holl said the person does not go to court and they simply “throw them into the trash.”
“If they mail them in, great,” Holl said. “If they don’t, there’s no repercussions.”
Boice said according to the records of people who have paid their parking tickets last year, the total amount of money from those tickets was about $1,000. He said he looked at the records in the past two years and saw that there was $500-worth of parking tickets that were unpaid, and some of the individuals who did not pay their tickets were repeat offenders. Those who are paying the parking tickets are paying their fines to the court instead of the village.
“They’re paying it to the court, which they should be paying it to the village,” Boice said. “I talked to [Court Clerk Kathy Barron] at the court. She really couldn’t give me an answer to why they’re going to the court.”
Neville said the village should be at least getting some portion of the money paid for the fines.
“It’s always been a certain percentage, no matter if it’s a parking ticket or a speeding ticket or whatever,” he said. “If it happens on the state roads or whatever, the village is supposed to get a certain percentage.”
However, Boice said in the case of parking tickets in the village, the village should receive all of the money from the fines.
“But these are $25 parking tickets,” he said. “If you write them under the local code, all that money should be going to the village.”
Boice said he will do some more research as to why individuals pay parking tickets to the court instead of the village and report back to the board.