‘I Think It’s Time’: Parking Bureau Pursues Body Cameras for Enforcement Officers

With support from the appointed body that helps oversee her, the head of the New Canaan Parking Bureau last week said she intends to put together a formal, comprehensive proposal for getting body cameras for enforcement officers. 

On a night that saw a Westchester woman hurl expletives and serious accusations during an appeal hearing for a $30 ticket, Parking Manger Stacy Miltenberg said “it is time that the [parking enforcement] officers get body cameras like the police do.”

“I think that there’s two sides to every story and think it will be beneficial,” Miltenberg said during the Parking Commission’s regular meeting, held July 11 at Town Hall. She added: “I really do think that it is a good idea.”

In addition to laying out cost options for different types of models, Miltenberg said her proposal will include recommendations based on the officers’ uniforms, specifics on when they would be used and turned on, and a governing policy that could use the New Canaan Police Department’s as a baseline model. 

“I think it’s time,” Miltenberg said. Parking Enforcement Officer Lisa Pia, a guest at the meeting, agreed with that assessment, saying she’s wanted the cameras “for years.”

“Because people make accusations that are not accurate, not even close to being accurate,” Pia said. “And who has our back unless we have proof? I had a situation today when some lady said I was yelling at her and I said, ‘Ma’am, I think you are not liking the answer I am giving you and you are not happy with it.

Town Upholds $30 Ticket for New Canaan Woman Who Said Truck Obstructed View of ‘Loading Zone’ Sign

Town officials recently upheld a $30 ticket for a New Canaan woman who parked in a loading zone on Main Street. Mary McCauley told members of the Parking Commission during her appeal hearing that she’s accustomed to parking on Main Street between East and Locust Avenues for morning sessions at a business that helps people with stretching. On the morning of March 21, a Thursday, McCauley pulled in near the corner in front of Organika Kitchen and didn’t read signs saying the area was reserved as a loading zone from 7 to 11 a.m. “because I know it’s two-hour parking,” she told Commissioners during their most recent meeting. “I had no idea it’s a loading zone and could not have known that it was a loading zone, because the truck in front of me was obstructing the sign view,” McCauley said during the May 2 hearing, held in Town Hall. “So when I came out and I had a ticket, I was absolutely shocked because I think I’ve had just one other ticket in the 27 years I have been here.”

Ultimately, saying McCauley should’ve seen a sign posting the loading zone hours at the near side of the area, even if a truck obstructed her view of the one on the far side, Commissioners voted 4-1 to uphold the ticket.

‘I Have No Inclination’: Police Commission Rejects Proposed Parking Meters on Main and Elm

New Canaan’s local traffic authority voted unanimously Wednesday night to reject a proposal to start charging for parking on Main and Elm Streets. 

The Police Commission voted 2-0 to deny the proposal for metered parking in the heart of the business district. 

Chairman Sperry DeCew noted during the Commission’s regular meeting that officials are still investigating whether the business district can gain back 13 spaces lost last year due to the town’s decision to observe a state law regarding buffers near crosswalks. “It was changed 50 years ago for pretty good reasons, and people have gotten used to having that enticement to shop and everything else,” DeCew said during the meeting, held at the New Canaan Police Department. He referred to the fact that Elm Street used to have parking meters. 

“I have no inclination to change the current situation,” DeCew said. 

He and Commissioner Jim McLaughlin voted 2-0 to deny the recommendation, which originated with the New Canaan Parking Commission. That appointed group had voted 3-2 at a meeting earlier this month in favor of the change, with advocates saying it didn’t make sense to offer up the most coveted spaces for free while charging for parking further out, and that it was the only way New Canaan would get employees of downtown businesses, stores and restaurants out of the free spaces designed to served shoppers and diners. Asked for her opinion by the Police Commission, Parking Manager Stacy Miltenberg, a guest at the meeting, said she personally didn’t support it. 

“I don’t believe it would be beneficial to merchants or anybody coming into town to park,” Miltenberg said.