Town officials this month voided a $30 ticket issued to a local man who recently switched back to commuting out of the New Canaan station after riding trains out of Noroton Heights for more than 10 years.
In his written appeal letter to the Parking Commission, Ben Merrill noted that he’s “still getting used to the Pay-for-Parking program” in New Canaan.
“In particular, two items are different,” Merrill said in the letter, discussed by the Commission at its March 1 meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. “1. The Noroton Heights app has my license plate stored and the ticket checker just looks at that, there is no space number required, 2. Noroton Heights app allows for multi day purchases so commuters can buy the full week or however many days they want up front at the start of the week. So, I am learning this and on this day, I had to have my wife come and locate my car and send me a text with the space number so I could pay. That exercise took until late morning and may have cost me something later that I don’t even know about yet!”
During the appointed body’s deliberations, Commissioner Nancy Bemis argued in favor of voiding the ticket.
“I think that if he was parking in Noroton since 2012 and the app was the app and he had to have his wife go down to the parking lot and get the space number and put the money in and get that done, I think that it was all in good faith,” Bemis said.
She added, “I think it’s a good thing that he’s commuting from New Canaan after Noroton Heights for 11 years.”
Commission Chair Jennifer Donovan agreed.
“He had all the right intentions,” she said. “Unfortunately he didn’t do it correctly, but I don’t know if he should be penalized for that. I think he did his best and probably will never do it again.”
Bemis, Donovan and Commissioners Kevin Karl, Drew Magratten and Marley Thackray voted unanimously to void the ticket.
Magratten said, “I wasn’t going to agree with you but I’ll go along with it. Give him a one-time chance.”