Deadbeat parking offenders owe South Milwaukee more than $213,400, police Capt. Jill Kallay said.
The four residents with the most unpaid fines owe about $5,000 on 90 tickets.
“That’s just the top of the list,” she said.
In total, about 4,100 parking tickets remain unpaid, some dating back to 1998.
Parking violations affect city
About 4,500 parking tickets are issued each year, Kallay said; about 88 percent are paid. Last year, the city made nearly $109,500 on the fines.
Revenue from tickets is used to pad the city’s general fund, helping cover budget overages in any city department. Besides depriving the city of a valuable financial buffer, Kallay said, residents who ignore parking laws are being unjust.
“It’s not fair to people who abide by the rules,” she said.
Repeat offenders also make snow plowing difficult.
“We have winter parking permits for a reason: to allow our people to clear the streets,” she said.
Rich Davidoff, street superintendent, said drivers disobeying winter parking rules can delay proper plowing.
“If everybody’s not on the right side of the street, it never gets done right,” Davidoff said.
Many of the outstanding tickets were issued for winter parking violations such as parking on the wrong side of the street or not having a permit, Kallay said.
Cars may be towed
In Milwaukee, illegally parked vehicles can be towed if they are registered to drivers with two or more tickets that have gone more than 30 days without being paid.
South Milwaukee does not have an ordinance allowing police to tow specifically for parking tickets. However, when a resident’s unpaid tickets turn 60 days old, the license plates on their vehicles are suspended through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Unpaid tickets are one of many reasons plates can be suspended.
Driving a car with suspended plates is a citable offense statewide. Also, the state will not issue new license plate stickers to anyone whose plates have been suspended.
In South Milwaukee, vehicles with suspended plates can be posted as disabled and then towed within 24 hours. Moving a posted vehicle will not help: it can still get towed.
Residents with unpaid tickets can come to the South Milwaukee Police Department, 2424 15th Ave., to make payment arrangements.
One woman who had 87 unpaid tickets totaling $5,055 recently set up a municipal court date to arrange payment after her vehicle was posted as disabled. Kallay said she hopes more people with unpaid tickets will follow suit.
Isral DeBruin can be reached at (262) 446-6608.
1. Petrit Muedini
owes $1,530 on 27 unpaid citations
2. Daniel Recore
owes $1,440 on 24 unpaid citations
3. Angela Rutkowski
owes $1,150 on 21 unpaid citations
4. Clinton Gilbert
owes $1,200 on 20 unpaid citations
For more information about parking rules or payment options, call the Police Department’s nonemergency line at (414) 768-8060.
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