IT'S NOT CLEAR what the Philadelphia Parking Authority was thinking yesterday morning when it decided to tow a city councilman's car.

Republican at-large Councilman David Oh said he was coming from a meeting when he noticed his Chevy Impala was no longer parked in front of the Municipal Services Building where he'd left it, in a space reserved for City Council members.

"I saw the car was not there and I had my staff call and find out where it was," Oh said, adding that a placard identifying the car as a Council member's was visibly on display.

"I said whatever it is, just bring the car back, it's fine," Oh said.

PPA immediately returned the car, and Oh did not have to pay a dime.

PPA spokeswoman Linda Miller told the Daily News that Oh had been parked "in a City Council authorized zone and he is a councilman."

So, why was his car towed?

"We don't know what happened," Miller said. "Obviously if it was towed, then someone did not see the placard."

According to Miller, it is standard procedure to tow a vehicle that is illegally parked in a space reserved for city officials. If the car had been parked in front of an expired meter, then only a ticket would be issued.

PPA is GOP-controlled and run by a Republican ward leader. In a close November election for one of the two at-large Council seats reserved for the minority party, Oh beat Al Taubenberger, president of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, who also serves on the PPA board.

- Staff writer Chris Brennan contributed to this report.