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.

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.

Improving Cell Service: Development on Proposed Soundview Lane Tower Imminent, Officials Say

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said Thursday that residents should expect a development this month regarding improved cell coverage in the northeast part of New Canaan. A Soundview Lane resident’s plan to use his uniquely situated property to bolster service in the area has been on hold for nearly one year, as no lease agreement with a cell service carrier has materialized—a necessary step for the proposal to come before state officials. Moynihan during a press briefing in his office said, “There are things happening there,” with respect to the Soundview Lane proposal. “There should be news by Thanksgiving on that front,” Moynihan said, declining to provide more details. The first selectman did say he’s met with cell service carriers and that he envisions improving service in the northeastern part of town first, then in northwestern New Canaan through a proposed tower near the reservoir property of off Ponus Ridge, and finally in downtown New Canaan.