A split vote among members of the Parking Commission at a special meeting Tuesday night voided a $25 ticket issued to a New Canaan woman for overtime parking at Morse Court.
Sarah Spadaccini told the Commission that on July 27, after she clocked out of her shift at Kiwanis Park, she parked her at Morse Court in a 15-minute zone so that she could pick up her takeout order from Spiga restaurant. She said that her order had already been prepared when she arrived at the restaurant, so all she had to do was pay and then leave.
“As I was walking out to my car—because I was in the spot closest to Main Street—I could see the man ticketing my car,” she said. “It couldn’t have been more than 15 minutes. I was in and then I was out. I could see him actually printing the ticket as I was walking across the street. And he even acknowledged that and said, ‘Next time you’re in town, I’ll owe you one,’ but I think we can all agree that the next time I was in town, he would most likely not remember what I looked like.”
When Commissioner Pam Crum asked Spadaccini what time she left her shift, she presented the time stamp proving that she clocked out at 1:57 p.m. She said the reason her parking ticket wasn’t issued until 2:27 p.m. was because she stayed at Kiwanis Park and chatted with co-workers for a few minutes after clocking out and calling in her takeout order because she knew the food wouldn’t be ready if she headed to Spiga immediately.
Chairman Keith Richey commended Spadaccini for her “cogent” appeal, particularly following two appeals discussed at the meeting where the individuals ticketed admitted that they were guilty.
Later in the meeting, Crum questioned whether Spadaccini was only parked in the space for 15 minutes or less.
“I’m just saying that when the [officers] come around, they don’t come around every 15 minutes,” she said. “It’s usually closer to 30 and I know what it said on her time card stub, but he isn’t there right after 15 minutes.”
Richey disagreed. “I see [that officer] there all the time. I go to the library and he’s there,” he said. “And he’s there again when I come out [of the library]. I think he lives there.”
Richey and Commissioner Stuart Stringfellow voted to void the ticket, while Crum and Peter Ogilvie voted to uphold it. Richey reminded the Commission that the rules state that if the vote is split, the ticket is voided.