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McHenry sticks it to parkers

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

McHenry sticks it to parkers

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
April 6, 2010

Well, they did it.

According to this morning's Northwest Herald, the McHenry City Council raised its overnight parking violation fine to $25.00, and that's if you pay within 30 days. If you don't, that night's parking will cost you $50.00.

And then Alderman Richard Wimmer had the gall to tell the reporter, "It's not revenue generation."

In 2009 McHenry issued 1,300 parking tickets and took $10,000 out of the pockets of residents and visitors. Had the new fine scheme been in place, the city would have raked in $26,000 more.

And that's not revenue generation???

They could have solved the problem with a much-smaller increase in fine than a 400% increase. Do you think failure to sign streets adequately might have something to do with the problem? Maybe.

How about collecting the fines on the unpaid tickets? Could that help?

Or imposing an escalating fine rate for repeat violators?

Or perhaps a contact by a police officer at 3:00AM to discuss the violation - politely, I mean (if a 3:00AM conversation can be polite, after you awaken the violator).

Just what was the unpaid ticket volume? Was it really a problem?

The headline for the continuation of the article on Page 6C was "Parking rules exist for public safety." Nothing, nothing, in the article addressed any public safety issue of such an exorbitant parking fine scheme.

The 2AM-6AM street-parking prohibition for overnight snowplowing doesn't hold snow (errr, water). Why prohibit parking on 365 nights for 4-5-6 nights/year when streets might need to be plowed.

Oh, and the big laugh? "Overnight parking rules ... reduce hiding places for people who may be up to criminal activity." Give me a break! Oh, and to reduce vehicle-pedestrian accidents involving people who walk carelessly into the street at night?

The People of McHenry should start keeping a closer eye on their local elected representatives!

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