Municipal Fines: Their Purpose Clarified
… by the administration of Mayor David Cicilline.
Some city officials think Caprio and the three other Municipal Court judges might be a little too forgiving to those who come before them, and it is costing the city money.
Mayor David N. Cicilline’s director of administration, Richard I. Kerbel, says the court — which deals with traffic and moving violations and some misdemeanor offenses — is not on pace to meet the city’s revenue estimates.
So, in not so many words, he is asking the courts to step it up.
The city has not been able to increase its parking-officer staff as fast as it would have liked because of delays in passage of this year’s budget. As a result, the additional revenue has not materialized, and now the city is expecting about $9.5 million from the courts by the end of the fiscal year. It’s a relatively small piece of the city’s $641-million budget, but with all the other financial difficulties facing the city, every dollar counts.
Just so we’re clear, then, traffic and parking regulations pertain to something other than public safety and free-flowing traffic.
My objection to any judicial leniency is from the other angle completely. There is no provision in the law for being four minutes late back to a parking meter. Two hours is two hours. As for extenuating circumstances or personal economic hardships, not only do most of us have them but most of them aren’t contemplated by the law, either. Why should some people get off while others have to pay?
Alas, the mayor’s administration did not cite the slightly loftier basis of a desire for equitable enforcement of laws and regulations but the more questionable goal of a steady revenue stream. As a caller last evening to the Matt Allen Show pointed out, the city is literally banking on the failings of their citizens and visitors.