Brian Pugh: To Boot or Not To Boot?

To the Editor,brian-pugh-group-cropped

The Village Board has voted to hold a Public Hearing to consider Introductory Local Law 4 of 2017 that would enable the Village to tow or boot vehicles which are found to have three or more outstanding parking violations. The meeting will be on Monday, June 19, 2017 at 8PM at Municipal Building.

A Towing & Booting Local Law was first discussed at a 2016 Village work session. At the time, it was confirmed that administratively it would not be possible to recover a towed car or remove a boot “after hours”. Literally, a resident could return home via the Metro North to find their car removed or immobilized and be unable to get it back until the next day–even if s/he had money in hand to pay their fines and fees.

For better or worse, in Westchester County access to an automobile is a virtual necessity for the typical family. A car is often essential employment, for childcare and for access to other necessary services (e.g. medical appointments).

Depriving someone of their car, over three parking violations, seems like too harsh a punishment. A punishment that could lead to widely disparate and unfair outcomes. For some, having a car booted or towed overnight might be a minor inconvenience–for others, it might result in the loss of a job or worse.

Last year, I requested information to help determine the efficacy of current collection methods for overdue parking violations. To this date, that has not been provided to me.

The Village has gotten by many years without a Towing & Booting Local Law. I am not aware of any unaddressed crisis that would necessitate such a precipitous response. In the absence of more compelling arguments and information, I remain skeptical about this proposal.

Sincerely,

Brian Pugh

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