Commission Upholds Parking Tickets at Appeals Hearing

Several motorists appealed parking violations during last week’s meeting of the New Canaan Parking Commission. Mariann Funch said she came to New Canaan to shop on a Monday and parked on Elm Street. The Stamford resident told the Commission during her appeal hearing that she “put the space number into the machine and paid with three quarters, slowly, one at a time.” Funch went into the store for about 45 minutes and when she came back she had a ticket, she said during the hearing, held Nov. 7 in Town Hall. Funch said after she discovered the ticket on her vehicle she went back to check the parking kiosk and noticed that there was three quarters in the refund slot, indicating that her transaction never went through.

Business Owner Asks for ‘Consideration’ from Parking Enforcement, Not Tickets

A longtime Main Street business owner is asking town officials for some leniency when it comes to commercial vehicles that remain parked on the street for more than two hours. Anthony Ceraso told members of the Parking Commission at their most recent meeting that he’s not disputing the two $25 tickets he received in June for overtime parking out front of his business on the corner of East Maple Street. “They’re already paid, I’m here to vent,” Ceraso told the Commission at its Sept. 4 meeting at Town Hall. Ceraso, owner of AC Auto Body, said he’s been in business in New Canaan for 22 years and located at 182 Main St.

Commission: Don’t Give Parking Enforcement Officers Ability to Void Tickets Once They’re Written

The volunteers who help oversee New Canaan’s Parking Bureau said this month pushed back on the idea of empowering enforcement officers to void tickets once they’ve been written. 

Parking Commission Chairman Keith Richey broached the idea during the appointed body’s Sept. 4 meeting, saying that in certain cases—for example, where someone happened to be in a double-parked or otherwise mis-parked vehicle, or was unaware of a loading zone rule—it could make sense to empower the enforcement officer to retract a ticket. 

Yet doing so would bring new risks, the commissioners said. 

“It puts the officer on the street in an awkward position when the townsperson says look I lived in New Canaan for 39 yrs and I am a senior citizen and I am really important in New Canaan and I think you ought to waive this ticket,” Commissioner Peter Ogilvie said during the special meeting, held at Town Hall. 

“Well, if the officer has the legal ability to waive right then and there on the street, the officer is going to feel pretty intimidated by some of these people. I don’t think you want to give that right to the officer on the street.”

According to appeals filed by motorists cited for violating New Canaan’s parking rules, enforcement officers often say on the street that they cannot retract a ticket once it’s printed. 

Parking Manager Stacy Miltenberg said that the officers already give motorists an opportunity to move or urge a driver to correct the violation prior to issuing a ticket. “They will tell somebody to please move,” Miltenberg said. Commissioner Chris Hering said that changing the Bureau’s practice would just expose the department. 

“What we try to do in our role here is to be fair and consistent and I think that we expose ourselves with further leniency,” Hering said.

Divided Commission Voids $25 Ticket for New Canaan Man Who Parked Poorly Downtown

Officials last week voided a $25 ticket issued to a New Canaan man who parked more than 12 inches from the curb on Main Street downtown one morning this summer. Joseph Somma told members of the Parking Commission during an appeal hearing that he’d been making a quick run from the New Canaan Field Club on the morning of June 24 (a Monday) to Baskin-Robbins to pick up ice cream for kids. A resident of New Canaan for 16 years, Somma spotted one parking space in front of the popular ice cream shop, pulled into it with his new truck and “didn’t realize how bad I did park,” he told the Commission during the Sept. 4 hearing, held at Town Hall. “I did park and I broke the rules.