16 thoughts on “‘We Are Being Reasonable’: Facing Rebuke from Commission Chairman, Parking Manager Defends Enforcement 

  1. The number 1 fear for residents in town; is getting a parking ticket. If you have lunch with friends, have a meeting in town, work out and grab coffee afterwards, these activities always have the stress of the time limits and the ticket anxiety. It’s not fun for people. I think many would agree that activities in town are cut short because you see the white Jeep coming and panic strikes. And the tickets are $30!! I’m sure people would love to see parking enforcement to go away all together. And I’m sure many would agree, our local parking officers are the most miserable people working in our town.

    • “The number 1 fear for residents in town” This letter is satire right?
      In case it’s not I want to say that I find the parking officers always friendly helpful and quick with a wave. They have a tough job and deserve our respect and not our ridicule.

  2. I’ve been a resident for over 20 years and must say Richey’s behavior was outrageous! I walk to town and in town several days per week. Cars are constantly parked in loading zones. People are always in such a hurry they cannot be bothered to go to the machines to pay for parking. People are always parked over the lines taking up 2 spaces. And they park in crosswalks. The excuses sound like more “I am entitled” excuses. “I do charity work” or “I was only over 2 minutes or 5 or 10.” The law is the law. Where do you draw the line? Blurring the lines just creates more confusion. Enforce our laws. Or change them.

  3. Rather than ticketing 5 minutes past the 2-hour allotment, as there really should be a grace period of 15/20 minutes, before a ticket is issued, I would like to see more policing of people illegally parking in handicapped spots, spots clearly marked as No Parking and, people parked well over lines, therefore taking up multiple spots. Those are people showing entitlement and blatant disregard for the law that are most deserving of tickets.

  4. In a work setting, when one performs their job “too well” they are typically lauded for it and often offered a promotion. Stacy is lovely and I have witnessed leniency first hand. I’m shocked at the exchange that took place. Wow.

    • Monica,
      You might be more shocked that the exchange had nothing to do with parking enforcement, it had to do with the No Parking areas on Elm – see my other comments for a fuller explanation.

      I would be the first to agree that Stacy is terrific and the Parking Department does a great job in a difficult situation. Still, in my view there are tickets that have been issued that should not have been and appeals of those tickets that should have been granted that have not been by the Parking Commission.

  5. I was not at the meeting so cannot comment on what happened. What I can comment on is how helpful and professional Stacy has been to me at times in the past. She and the parking enforcers do not have an easy job in this town but I have found them all to be fair and pleasant.

  6. Wow, the combative tone of Chairman Richey may work for an HBO series, but it will never work for the town of New Canaan.
    Our Commission needs a Chairperson who can navigate and resolve issues, not one that belittles those working for the Commission.
    Given a willingness to listen and work together, the issue at the recent meeting seemed pretty straightforward forward and resolvable.

  7. 1. The parking folks in this town are super friendly and reasonable. If I had to spend my day writing people tickets for breaking rules they don’t believe should apply to them, I would need at least one and a half martinis by noon. We should treat them with respect. Full stop.

    2. When you get a ticket, pay your ticket. I’ve gotten two in the five years I’ve lived here. I’m honestly not sure how people manage to get so many. Doesn’t everyone have a watch? A phone? Working eyes? I paid my tickets. I’m out $55, but I’m pleased to report that I have survived, and possibly even thrived despite such a harrowing setback.

    3. Is it like the Oscars for entitlement this week? Between this and the Y story, I’m dumbfounded.

  8. Stacy is typical of the hard working people here for our town, who do their best to do the job and follow the guidelines they are given. If we all, as a town, want to change the rules of when we start or stop enforcement, or give specific guidelines for grace time etc. then so be it. We don’t go into other jurisdictions with the expectation that the posted rules really are just suggestions and we should not expect that here. There are many ways to determine what we all feel is the best policy, but until we do, we should stand with our town workers not against them.

  9. Keith Richey has been on the Parking Commission and its chairman longer than almost anyone can remember. I am beginning to think a new chairman is in order. Keith, you seem to shoot from the hip when you say there are no parking problems before 9 or after 4. I believe you are wrong on that. speaking in a condescending manner to a staff member in a public meeting is unnecessary and offensive to many townspeople. Further, in the past year it is was disconcerting to hear you, as chairman, speak about a desire not to abide by the state safety law that prohibits parking within 25 feet of crosswalks. You gave the impression that you feel New Canaan is above the law, and now you talk publicly about ignoring local rules that your commission imposed. Term limits for commission chairman may be advisable.

    • Greg, I totally agree with you. We need term limits, but not just for chairmen, it should be all commissioners! And, let’s start with P&Z!

    • Greg,
      1. Serving on the Parking Commission has been thankless job – I have thought of giving it up for years and my wife thinks I am nuts to continue but I keep getting reappointed by every new term of BoS and keep getting elected as Chairman unanimously by the other members of the PC. Thanks for your gratitude. 2. In fact, for years the Parking Department has generally not provided enforcement before 9 or after 4 – that has been done by the Police. 3. You weren’t at the meeting so your comment is based on Michael’s obvious hatchet job – really? 4. The 25 foot rule is not followed in Greenwich and many of the towns in Connecticut. You are fully aware Chairman of the Police Commission, the CoC, and many others do not share your interpretation of the state rule. I have no problem with term limits. it would make my day – are you offering to take the job?

  10. I have lived in New Canaan for 40 years; I have gotten three parking tickets, two of which I paid because I over stayed my time. The third one I appealed and the ticket was voided. There are parking rules and the town employees follow the rules. If you want to change the rules, then change them, don’t blame the employees. They are doing their job, and over the years I have found the parking attendants to be friendly and helpful – all of them.
    Betty Branch

    • Michael,
      What a hatchet job – if I weren’t the subject of your attempted character assassination I would congratulate you. I hope everyone actually listens to the recording you provided. It should be obvious to anyone who listens that Stacy was not chagrined or down about the previous discussion. After all, I was saying that her team was doing a great job, but perhaps too great a job. We had just moved from ticket appeals and enforcement to a discussion of where the Police stood regarding the No Parking areas on Elm on either side of the crosswalk perpendicular to the Bank of America. I had asked Stacy to be prepared to discuss this and by that I meant for her to discuss the matter with the Police. When I asked Stacy to proceed, she make a joke and it was clear (to me anyway) that Stacy had not discussed the issue with the Police, probably due to misunderstanding the request. I pinned Stacy down on this just before or just after the recorded exchange but that was artfully not included. When Stacy was making a joke about this, my comment about “Be Careful” was meant to say be care or I will disclose your error. Perhaps I was the only one who understood what I meant but I really don’t see how saying “Be Careful” and “I’m serious” should merit an entire article. The Chamber’s input about the Parking Department creating a hostile environment was on the Agenda so it is hard for me to see how anyone could have been blindsided by the discussion. Also, for years I have asked the other members of the Parking Commission to engage in a more lenient and thoughtful approach to appeals of the tickets. I was very clear that I don’t want to change the rules but there are tickets that have been issued that, in my view, should not have been and appeals that should have been granted, but were denied. The fact that we discussed these issues at a Parking Commission meeting should not surprise anyone.
      Keith Richey

  11. Many in NC know Kieth for many years and acknowledge his contributions in voluntary work with charitable organizations. He has proven to be a leader, thoughtful and highly intelligent. The current issue should not be considered with regard to Kieth’s qualifications, but on the merits of the case in point. All too often Departments in government over- enforce or are slack in performing responsibilities –much of this stems from insecurity or protecting fiefdoms. In this case we should look at the facts and reach a balance that is best for NC given the public interest, business, demographics, and sense of fairness. This type of review is healthy and perhaps overdue with other Departments, projects and Boards.

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