City Council gave unanimous approval yesterday to a bill sponsored by Councilman Bill Green that would let people contest tickets issued by the Philadelphia Parking Authority via the Web, email, mail or fax. Currently, those who want to challenge a ticket must show up for a hearing at the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication.
"We wanted to create an option for people to appeal their parking tickets online or via email, really any electronic means so that they didn't have to take a day off of work and lose $100 pay in order to save $24 on a ticket," Green said.
Mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald said the Mayor will sign the bill into law. BAA director Jerry Connors said portions of the proposal will be phased in starting in the fall. Connors said the BAA will also need to beef-up on staffing.
Meanwhile Councilman Mark Squilla introduced a bill that would tack on a $4 fee on parking tickets. The money generated from the fee could bring in $4 million, he said which would be used for both the maintenance of recreation facilities and for operating costs of the Philadelphia Parking Authority Taxicab and Limousine Division.
"I still think we should make it easier for folks to appeal a ticket wrongly given," Squilla said. "If you were wrongly parked or parked illegally… I still think an extra $4 surcharge on a ticket would go a long way to help the city, not to hurt it," Squilla said.
The Law Department has reportedly said in a memo that the city is not authorized to direct the money to city services and any money generated would have to go to the School District. But PPA said in a memo that because it's a surcharge the money would not have to go to schools.