City addresses license plate victims' sticker shock
The City of Milwaukee will give a break to vehicle owners who have had their registration stickers ripped off -- sort of. For the past two years city parking checkers issued $50 tickets to unregistered vehicles and those without stickers no matter the circumstance. The city can also tow unregistered vehicles.
Needless to say, many residents were lighting up the phones at City Hall complaining that they shouldn't get tickets because their registration was ripped off -- which is becoming commonplace these days.
The city issued 28,195 tickets for unregistered vehicles last year. In an effort to be less punitive the city now issues tickets for failing to display registration, which run $17 instead of $50.
"The lower fine serves as a warning to alert people to the need to properly display their registration proof," writes Public Works Commissioner Jeff Manthes.
Book ban: The West Bend Community Memorial Library Board has postponed consideration of a complaint filed over gay-themed books in the library's young adult collection. Over 200 people came to the board's meeting.
"I heard a lot of misinformation about gays and lesbians from would-be censors at the meeting," said ACLU of Wisconsin Youth and Programs Director Emilio De Torre. "Libraries are about intellectual freedom. I want to support those who want our libraries to be places that serve all community members young and old."
Some board members want gay-themed books to be removed entirely, while others argued for youth-oriented books to be moved to the adult section.
Election engineering: You know times are tough when penny-pinching gets so intense that elections are canceled. That's a plan by one lawmaker. State Sen. Jim Holperin (D-Eagle River) wants to cancel the February and April elections for the sake of efficiency.
"Here's an opportunity to save property taxpayer dollars without reducing any service that local governments provide," Holperin said.
The spring election is held for all non-partisan elective offices, including state-level positions like Supreme Court justices and superintendent of public instruction, which happen to be up for grabs this April. Other races such as those for county judges, supervisors, mayor and aldermen are all decided in spring.
Holperin says people don't vote much in spring, anyway. The cost of poll workers, printing ballots and keeping the lights on would all be saved, as well. He said holding all the elections in the fall just makes sense. The move would essentially render Wisconsin's presidential preference primary completely meaningless. The change would require a change in the state constitution.
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newguy: I can't tell you how angry the situation that happened to you made me. I'm so sorry to hear that. This happens to people far too often, and the city knows it. So why has nothing been done all this time? I hope eliminating the stickers takes place. It's about time. In the meantime, stories like yours REALLY gets me ANGRY!
there must be NO fine if licence plate stickers are stolen. the car owner did everything right. not their fault. dropping sticker use will solve the problem. this MUST be done. it is easy for checkers to check as they get all up on their computers anyhow. STOP FINEING PEOPLE FOR STOLEN STICKERS. inforce fines for people who use stolen stickers. thank-you
Maybe the DPW should use their police powers and use their two-way radio to verify registration before issuing tickets. Maybe we should fine them for every stinking pot hole in this city, even though they are victims of Old Man Winter.
?Who gave the DPW police powers? That organization sure carries a lot of weight in this city. Gee, thanks for reducing the fine for being the victim of a crime.
newguy | March 13, 2009 at 8:14 a.m. (report)
That law is ridiculous, and this "change" continues the ridiculousness of it. How about this? Use the same computer that they run your registration with (to see if there are outstanding tickets on a vehicle), to determine whether your registration is up to date or not. If it is, and your plate has been ripped off, leave a "warning" ticket, telling you to fix your plate or next time you will get a fine. I had this happen to me two summers ago. Someone actually cut my license plate, to remove the sticker. It was obvious that my plate was cut, as it was not only missing the sticker, but the last letter of my license plate. I got this very same $50 fine. A fine, apparently, for having my vehicle vandalized. To further add insult to injury, after having to endure the DMV, and paying for a new plate, I called the number on the ticket, and told them I got a new plate (a fact that should have been easily verified with a few keystrokes by the clerk on the other end of the phone), and I was told that to cancel the ticket I STILL HAD TO FIGHT THE TICKET IN COURT. This meant that I would loose further money, by having to take off of work to fight this. I went in to fight it, and was livid. I had my old plate as "Exhibit A", and pictures of other cars from the same area (MLK & Cherry) with their plates vandalized, etc. I was put in a room where I had to wait over an hour to talk to the CA. At that point, he asked me, "was your vehicle properly registered?" I said in an angry voice, "YES". He next asked, "Why wasn't your registration properly displayed?" I pulled out "Exhibit A". He then asked, "Have you since gotten new plates?" I brought out my receipt from the DMV. He wrote a big zero on my ticket, and told me to give it to the clerk and she would reverse everything. I never had to see a judge. So why did I have to take off of work, and loose pay, when a CA and a clerk could have (and did) take a verbal explanation, all of which could have just as easily have been done over the phone? Maybe they lowered the fine to $17 because for $50 most will fight it, but for $17, some might just write a check rather than deal with the hassle and indignity of it all . . .
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