Parking enforcement discussion brings problems to light

By Stephanie Grinnell | Aug 14, 2014
Photo by: Stephanie Grinnell Volunteer parking enforcers Robert Payne and Donald French speak to Lincolnville selectmen Aug. 11 regarding problems at the Beach.

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.

Comments (10)
Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Aug 18, 2014 10:41

You are correct Joeseph, 15 minute is 15 minutes and park all day you get a ticket.  The person that gets a ticket from the Town of Lincolnville for violating a 15 minute violation observes the volunteer not enforce it for someone else the Town is Liable.  The article makes references of subjective vs. objective enforcement.  The two volunteers admit to the selectmen that enforcement is not equally enforced.  Each volunteer enforces the violations differently, one issues courtesy warnings and one does not.  Your selectmen have been made aware of the different enforcement policies exposing the Town is aware of non-consistent parking enforcement.  I was not at the selectmen's meeting but this article itself exposes different enforcement by the same municipality so it screams of discrimination.  You have ONE rule 15 minute parking with TWO enforcers discriminating two different persons different ways. Discrimination is not just male vs female anymore but ONE rule enforced differently for two people.  Ask the cities being sued for ADA sidewalk violations. Many town's planning boards have parking requirements in their ordinances.  As the area develops commercially has the planning board had an avenue to require the business to have enough parking required by the ordinance.  Not sure what Belfast areas parking requirements are now, but back in the 90's a restaurant needs one parking space for every three seats it had.  That was an example of an ordinance that helps control the parking problems with growth and not an attack on Linconville and it's ordinances.

Posted by: Joseph Mclaughlin | Aug 18, 2014 09:55

Pretty cut and dry, sign says 15 minute parking, been there all day? you get a ticket . I'm not sure where the discrimination is. There's been a huge boom in commercial activity at the beach in the last few years and we should be trying to keep it going by finding a parking solution that can handle the amount of people being drawn down there.

Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Aug 18, 2014 00:00

Trouble is...... the taxes would be paying the person feeling discriminated upon that is filing the law suit.  Do you think there are any lawyers riding on the ferry?  The tire shredded sidewalks meet the ADA code to prevent law suits from the handicap.  The ticket writers will be surely included on the names on the law suit.  Unfortunately the town has the deepest pockets but the volunteers name will be sued as well.

Posted by: Joseph Mclaughlin | Aug 16, 2014 10:15

Most parking enforcement in cities are not police officers, don't carry a gun and have no arrest powers. If there's a problem there's always the Waldo county sheriff and Maine state police who are all real police officers.

Perhaps the solution to this problem would be to start figuring out where to put these cars before promoting the beach as it's own tourist destination. The town lot used to have 20 more parking spots before the tire shredding sidewalks were installed. And there used to be 3 spots where that outhouse was built. Here's an idea, get rid of those dividers on the angle parking section and add a couple spots.

Posted by: Harley Roger Colwell | Aug 15, 2014 20:56

No, definitely wasn't advocating that..... oh-nooooo. Just don't think it's a good idea to play police without actually having a police department. With real police.



Posted by: Joseph Mclaughlin | Aug 15, 2014 19:13

Harley if you feel the need for a police department then I suggest you write a check.  Working people can't afford the taxes as is.

Posted by: Harley Roger Colwell | Aug 15, 2014 00:51

Wow... I thought Lincolnville got rid of their police force. Huh, Now people are "volunteering" to do the police duties that they miss having? Sounds like a train-wreck of potential liabilities in the making. Are these volunteers covered by the town's insurance when some jack-hole loses their temper and does something rash to the issuer of the ticket? We've all seen the reality shows where that crap gets videod. Or are the volunteers armed.... oh boy. Gotta love that idea. Armed parking police.... translate: schoolyard bully, level-expert. Sounds like it's time to stop half-*ssedly mucking around in a complete vacuum of organization before something goes really, really wrong.


Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Aug 14, 2014 21:50

Let's hope the Town has paid up on it's insurance as the inconsistencies sound like a law suit just ripe for the picking!

Posted by: Philip Higgins | Aug 14, 2014 11:28

We got a warning card for parking in a 15 min spot that clearly was not maked as such. Your right about one statement, you clearly don't know what each other is doing.


Posted by: Joseph Mclaughlin | Aug 14, 2014 08:42

We should raise the price of a parking ticket to 100 dollars, that way the mil rate won't have to go up and actual lincolnville residents will be able to use parking their taxes paid for.

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