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Another meter maid story

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Another meter maid story

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
November 27, 2010


Years ago in Denver I was making a sales call on a radio executive and parked on Lincoln Street in front of the station. I deposited money into the parking meter and entered the station. When I came out of the radio station, I knew I still had 15-20 minutes of time remaining on my meter.

The meter maid had already been there and gone, and I had my own personalized friendly "greetings" from the meter enforcement division of the City of Denver. I spotted the meter maid at the corner and went to speak with her.

I explained that the flag was up on the meter, but the dial showed I still had 15 minutes of time on the meter. She told me that her instructions were, "If the flag is up, I am to write a ticket."

Dumb instructions, right? Cheat the motorist out of time and then make him pay more. So, what did I do?

I went to the office of the parking referee to argue the unfair ticket. Time-wise, it wasn't worth it, because the ticket was only $3.00. But there was a principle involved here!

I fed the meter in front of the referee's office and went in. He and I had a good discussion; he agreed I was making a good point and said he'd knock the fine down from $3 to $1. I told him if I were guilty, I'd pay the whole $3 but, since I wasn't guilty, I didn't feel I should pay anything.

His response: $3.00 or $1.00?

So I paid the $1. When I went out to my car, the flag on the meter had "flown" (but I was lucky and didn't have a ticket!).

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