By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Two city council members want to make it easier to fight City Hall — by letting people contest parking tickets and other citations without having to show up in person.
Councilman Bill Green says far too often people simply pay parking tickets because of the hassle involved in coming downtown to fight it.
“Often the cost of the ticket is far less expensive to the person who received it than the cost of fighting it, that’s taking time off from work.”
And his freshman colleague Bobby Henon says having to fight tickets in person is a burden for anyone.
“It is onerous not only on our seniors, but people who work a regular job when jobs are scarce these days, and folks who are taking care of their families at home.”
So Green and Henon today are introducing companion bills that — if approved, would allow you to fight the tickets by appealing on-line or by snail mail.
“This legislation,” says Henon, “spells out a process in which the city and its agencies and the parking authority adjudicate electronically, via phone, email or other electronic ways of communicating.”
“We make it as easy for citizens to appeal an enforcement action as it is for the PPA or a city agency to issue the ticket,” says Green, who adds that Boston, New York and San Diego already have such processes.
Green’s measure covers parking tickets. Henon’s bill covers violations handed by the Streets Department, L&I, the Health Department and other agencies.
Currently parking tickets are contested at the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication at 9th and Filbert Streets. Most other citations are contested at the Office of Administrative Review on South Broad Street.