By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia City Council today gave its thumbs-up to letting you fight parking tickets by mail or online rather than having to show up in person.

At the same time, though, one councilman proposed raising the fines for parking tickets by $4.

The vote was unanimous as City Council signed off on a plan that spares people a trip to center city when they want to fight a parking ticket.

The measure would force the agency that hears appeals to allow for online or snail mail appeals within six months.

The sponsor of the measure is Councilman Bill Green.

“Our job is to serve citizens, and to make it easy for citizens to deal with their government, instead of the other way around,” Green explained.

The bill now goes to the desk of Mayor Michael Nutter.

Meantime, Councilman Mark Squilla proposed raising the fines of parking tickets by $4, with $2 earmarked for the city’s park system.

“The maintenance and upkeep of our parks, which really beautifies our city, is well worth it,” Squilla said.

The other $2 would go back to the Parking Authority for taxi and limousine enforcement.

Squilla admits that the proposal may not be deemed legal, since parking ticket revenues currently are channeled to the School District.  But he says that legal question will be hashed out when the bill is debated in committee.

The fine for parking at an expired meter is currently $36 in center city and University City, $26 elsewhere in the city.

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