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. “I’m going to uphold.”
Richey said, “What a surprise.”