Officials Vote 3-2 To Uphold $25 Parking Ticket for Man Who Thought Bush Funeral Was National Holiday

A divided Parking Commission last week upheld a $25 ticket for a motorist who said he didn’t pay for a space at Morse Court because he believed Dec. 5 was a national holiday. Steven Colfin told Commissioners during their regular meeting Thursday that it was a “national day of mourning.”

“There is a sign there saying” no one has to pay for parking on holidays, Colfin told the Commission during his appeal hearing, held at Town Hall. “It was the Wednesday of the national day of morning for president George H.W. Bush, the federal government was closed, markets were closed, I took it as a holiday.”

Chairman Keith Richey said, “It’s the holiday defense.”

He added, “Actually, I think that’s a pretty good defense, as a mater of fact.”

A parking enforcement officer issued the ticket at 12:11 p.m. that day. 

Commissioner Pam Crum asked Colfin whether he parked and then went to get lunch, and he said yes. 

During deliberations, Crum said, “I’m sorry, it is not a holiday.”

Richey responded, “Actually it was a holiday.”

Asked to clarify, Parking Manager Stacy Miltenberg, a guest at the meeting, said New Canaan only waives parking fees on “federal holidays.”

“People have asked me whether there’s other holidays throughout the year and people will call up, ‘It’s such-and-such, is it a holiday?’ ” Miltenberg said. Richey and Commissioner Stuart Stringfellow voted to void the ticket, while Crum and Commissioner Chris Hering voted to uphold it, leaving the decisive vote to Commissioner Peter Ogilvie. 

“I’m never the tiebreaker,” Ogilvie said.

Parking Ticket Appeals: ‘I Came Out with a Pizza in Hand’

Here are excerpts from parking ticket appeals letters filed recently with the New Canaan Parking Bureau:

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“I would like to contest ticket number 3030005075 issued on 12/05/18 on a day of a holiday. It was a National Day of Mourning and was considered a holiday day. The sign said that the parking is free on holidays.”

—$25 for unpaid space in Morse Court, at 12:11 p.m. on Dec. 5 

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“I was parked on Main Street earlier in the day was done at work at noon – ran some errands. Had to be back at work at 2 pm – I parked my car on Cherry St at 1:50 and got a ticket at 2:58.”

—$25 for overtime parking on Cherry Street at 2:58 p.m. on Dec.

Officials Unanimously Uphold $30 Ticket for Darien Woman Who Parked in Loading Zone

Parking officials this month upheld a $30 parking ticket for a Darien woman who had pulled into a loading zone on a Saturday afternoon. Maria Olivo told members of the Parking Commission that she came to New Canaan to return an item to J. Crew and didn’t realize that the loading zone applied to weekends. “It wasn’t like there weren’t other spots,” Olivo said during the Commission’s regular meeting, held Nov. 1 at Town Hall. “There were other spots.

Town Upholds $30 Ticket for Woman Who Parked Above the Bike Rack at Elm and South

Despite her protests, officials this month upheld a $30 ticket for a woman who had parked on the southeast corner of Elm Street and South Avenue, squeezing in between a bike rack and the pedestrian crosswalk. Lauren Sandstrom said she didn’t deserve the ticket for a No Parking Zone violation, issued at about 1 p.m. on a Friday in October. Though lines had been drawn on the asphalt there, sketching out a no parking area, they had not yet been repainted, Sandstrom told members of the Parking Commission at their regular meeting. Also, a sign there says two-hour parking from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with arrows pointing in both directions. “So I parked my car and actually when I came out, the lady in the store said, ‘Oh yeah, the man [parking enforcement officer] on the bike was just here and passed out tickets,’ and he actually had ticketed every car in a line, including a car that parked next to me on the other side [of the bike rack],” Sandstrom said during her appeal hearing, held at Town Hall. 

Chairman Keith Richey asked whether Sandstrom had parked in the “spot” for less than two hours.

‘I Don’t Mean To Be a Comic’: Parking Officials Void One of Three $25 Tickets Issued to Forest Street Man

Town officials this month voided two of three $25 parking tickets given to a Forest Street man who claimed he’s kept his car in the same on-street spot in front of his home for more than two years without a problem. Joseph Morcerino of 170 Forest St. told members of the Parking Commission at their Nov. 1 meeting that he parked his car in its usual spot when he left for vacation Sept. 28 to Oct.