Margaret McAustin Margaret McAustin

Time and place

After getting a ticket, Councilwoman Margaret McAustin feels motivated to improve city parking

By Justin Chapman 06/03/2010

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Hours after Pasadena Weekly published the results of a state Public Records Act request that found nearly 230 city employees — including City Council members — enjoy unlimited parking privileges by using Official City Business parking placards, Councilwoman Margaret McAustin received a $42 ticket for leaving her car in a space longer than the allotted 20 minutes.
 
Unfortunately for McAustin, who was the only councilmember last July to vote against a $1.9 million three-year extension of the city’s contract with Inter-Con Security Systems to enforce city parking laws, she forgot to display her OCB placard. 
 
The city recently hired another firm to collect tickets issued to out-of-state drivers, which McAustin voted for, saying that “it’s important that the city collect all the revenue to which we’re entitled.” And, now that she’s been ticketed, McAustin said she will pay the $42 fine. “But it sucks,” she acknowledged.
 
As part of a series of stories in the Weekly on the city’s parking and traffic enforcement procedures, the newspaper made 10 recommendations for improvement. 
 
One of the paper’s proposals included hiring a replacement for former Parking Director Bill Bortfeld, an idea that McAustin supports. 
 
Other suggestions included:
 
Form a citywide citizens’ parking commission that would report to the City Council and meet monthly to hear complaints and review reports from Inter-Con.
 
Freeze fines for expired meters at $30, then raise all other parking fines only every two years.
 
Increase free parking in city garages from 90 minutes to two hours.
 
Offer a first-time warning.
 
Allow any resident to park on the street day and night under one permit. Further, allow residents to obtain overnight parking permits for guests on an annual basis, rather than each time someone needs to stay the night.
McAustin agreed that parking regulations should be addressed on a citywide basis, saying, “We need to have consistency with city rules and implement uniform policies across the city.”
 
Mayor Bill Bogaard also agreed that there is room for improvement, though he did not immediately support any specific suggestion by the paper. However, Bogaard said he would discuss the recommendations with City Manager Michael Beck to see if any of them are feasible.
 
“I could see this being referred to staff with the recommendation that staff come back to council with an evaluation and recommendations of actions that might be taken in light of these suggestions,” said the mayor. 

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Comments

How interesting;

Pasadena's Czarina, Council member McAustin -- along with her other crown-city cohorts -- wants to go for all the money, by hiring yet another private corporation to bounty-hunt alleged, out-of-state parking scofflaws beyond state lines.

Problem is, her privately incorporated bounty-hunter can't use the California courts because CalDMV's parking enforcement laws have effectively been divorced from CA's government system of judicial review.

Also (unless there's a revenue-sharing plot), I see absolutely no reason whatsoever why the DMV for any other State of the Union would agree to help collect crookedly assessed, punitive tax funds for any California community in order to satisfy citations that cannot be challenged in any court of law by an "innocent-until-proven-guilty" defendant.

You see, this is because, the very moment anybody receives a California parking citation issued according to the unconstitutional dictates of California's Vehicle Code, Section 40200-40230, from the get-go, they are in fact processed as a guilty perp unless -- arbitrarily -- determined to be innocent. This is why the above, particular code demands that any accused perp MUST first surrender the PENALTY ASSESSMENT (as opposed to a "innocent-until-proven-guilty" defendant having to post a bailment) for the alleged crime before Pasadena's private corporation of parking jackboots will consider any circumstance of innocence. Ultimately, in surrendering ANY penalty assessment, ALL presumed perps are then in fact admitting guilt.

Anyway, why should she even be paying her parking fine? I mean, she needn't eat that cake, why doesn't Czarina McAustin first challenge her presumed guilt? Since she is in fact the formally contracted boss of that private corporation that is currently performing as the fine-collector of Pasadena's parking extortion detail, all she need do is -- using her Pasadena Council Member Letterhead -- simply let them know that she is in fact exempted, confirm her identity and exemption-plate status, and then just dare those MFrs to try collecting from her anyway.

Or maybe she's caused this 45 dollar incident on purpose, just to prove to all us prols that she can also feel our pain.

Still, why spend the 45 bucks when she really doesn't need to? After all, she is one of the HPsIC.

posted by DanD on 6/07/10 @ 08:45 a.m.
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