Galveston Oh Galveston

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Galveston Oh Galveston

Glen Campbell’s golden oldie is ringing in my ears — and so is the following blurb sent by a correspondent in the Texas Republic: To wit:

After it last year wrote off more than $1 million in tickets it deemed uncollectable, the city said it racked up another $2.9 million of unpaid tickets over the year that ended Oct. 1. All of which has the city council again talking about what it can do to get people to pay.

Galveston’s parking tickets are now criminal violations.

They’re impossible to enforce, though, because the tickets are not written against individuals — they’re written against vehicles. It can’t be proven in court that the individual who owns a vehicle is the one who parked it illegally.

"We don’t have any hammer," City Manager Steve LeBlanc said Thursday. The city could pass an ordinance making tickets a civil violation, allowing the city to disable vehicles using "the boot" or some other device if the tickets go unpaid.

But that creates problems of its own. Councilwoman Barbara Roberts said that to disable vehicles, t! he city must create a special court where people can settle up and get their property released.

It would cost $500,000 to have such a court in the first year and $400,000 each year after that, Roberts said. LeBlanc is now in talks with County Judge Jim Yarbrough to see if the county court system could fill such a court’s function.

With some vehicles with more than $2,000 in unpaid tickets, the city is also considering whether to print their owner’s names in the newspaper.

What?!?!?!?!? Half a million a year to have a guy sit behind a desk and decide whether or not a fine should be paid. I’ll bet Central or Ampco System or Standard or Imperial or Citation Management would do it for a lot less. What is the matter with these people? They are leaving $3MM on the table plus I’ll bet they have a parking problem that won’t end because people simply ignore the citations.

Jimmy Webb wrote words of love while in battle, of waves crashing and birds flying and cannons. Of a love left on the shore of a beautiful city. Think of how much better a city it would be if they could figure out a way to reduce the parking problems and collect the money due them…

Sigh

J

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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