Parking enforcement discussion brings problems to light
Lincolnville — For more than a month, two volunteer parking enforcers have been ticketing vehicles in the Lincolnville Beach area and some residents have voiced concerns about the process.
To address those concerns, selectmen invited the volunteers to speak during their meeting Aug. 11. Donald French and Robert Payne said they do not have a set schedule of enforcement and alternate weeks monitoring vehicles parked in timed spots. Both noted they do not know who owns the vehicles, but Payne tracks the number of tickets per vehicle. The volunteers noted one vehicle has been ticketed at least four times.
"How much longer do we play the game?" Payne asked, adding, "we've been doing it a month and some people don't get it."
Payne said he issues courtesy warning cards before tickets, but French does not.
"I think our job is to go down there and give [violators] a ticket," French said.
Both volunteers agreed there are some issues that need to be addressed, but said turnover in the spots closest to the beach has been consistently good with few lingering beyond the four-hour limit.
"We don't know what each other is doing," Payne noted.
In total, 47 warnings and seven tickets have been issued since June 30, he said. Spots closer to the ferry terminal are often ticketed for exceeding the time limit and now, Payne said, people with passes issued by the ferry terminal are also taking up timed spaces when the designated ferry lot is full.
"How do you handle that?" he asked.
"If the state is writing passes... that's a huge problem," Select Board Chairman Ladleah Dunn said.
French also noted the need for better signs noting the time limits and parking spaces in the area. Payne pointed out at least six spots with no time limit and confusion in regard to spots set aside for The Lobster Pound customers sharing the same lot as public spots.
French also suggested including an envelope with tickets to allow mailing of payment.
Selectman Cathy Hardy requested the volunteers create a list of issues for town officials; Town Administrator David Kinney said he already had the list in hand. Kinney said more signs have been ordered as well.
Selectman Rosey Gerry asked if the volunteers wear a vest while operating as parking enforcement. Payne said he does; French does not. Kinney assured French the town would provide him a reflective vest to wear during his enforcement efforts.
"Because when I park in Camden and I see 'walkie-chalkie' and the Camden vest coming, I move," Gerry said.
He also inquired if the two have incurred any expenses.
"The town didn't buy me any chalk," Payne said with a chuckle.
Currently, French and Payne also drive to the town office to drop off copies of the tickets for town records and are not reimbursed for mileage.
Selectmen did not take any action following the discussion.
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Stephanie is editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. She previously served as editor of Camden Herald following its return in April 2012.
Stephanie also was editor of VillageSoup's Capital Weekly in Augusta and has nearly a decade of experience in the newspaper business ranging from southern and central Maine to Waldo County.
Outside the office, she enjoys reading, cooking and gardening.
Stephanie lives in Washington with her husband Jeff, four children, a dog named Chewbacca, a rabbit and chickens.