How did we get here in the first place?

This article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune (The best named newspaper on the planet), notes that the city has $91million in outstanding parking citations that has not been collected. Seems like a goodly amount, until you discover that $60 plus million is fees and penalties. Even so.

It seems to me that the first question that should be asked is how did we get here and what can we do to collect parking fines. It would seem that the Big Easy is completely dysfunctional when it comes to this bit of administration.

My buddies at Paylock rail about this (to me) but then take a softer approach when talking to cities. They believe that a culture change at all levels of city government, from enforcement to the city council, mayor, police, and finance, is needed to make the issuing, enforcing, and collecting parking fines something that makes sense in a city.

The parking rules have to be consistent, and have to be supported by all levels of government. PR departments need to be working overtime telling folks why the rules are important, where the money goes, and what will happen if they break them.(not just the fine, but the potential for fire departments not being able to get to a fire, or someone not being able to see around a corner  – you get the idea.)

New Orleans, it seems, is hammering its parking enforcement vendor to solve the problem. I’m not sure that’s possible without the support of the entire governmental community.

In the mean time, a program of booting and towing would probably create a cash inflow that would make the local government happy. Of course that is probably not possible in most government environments.

I wish the Crescent City all the best
JVH

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