Calling All Ducks! Come To Milwaukee Where Mayor Tom And The Gang Can Pluck You!
It really is an outrage. Unfortunately, it's also par for the course in the City of Milwaukee where the Mayor and his Gang of Fifteen (otherwise know as the Common Council) view residents as nothing but as giant cash cow. Put another way, we're all ducks waiting to be plucked by Mayor Tom and his Aldermen.
Every year, Wisconsin residents are obligated to send $75 to the Department of Transportation in order to register each car they own. When payment is received, the DOT updates the registration of the vehicle in their computers and sends owners a sticker which is to be displayed on the rear license plate of the car.
Among the ever-increasing, low-life class in the City of Milwaukee, a cottage industry has developed around these registration stickers. It is apparently extremely fashionable for miscreants to remove the stickers from validly registered vehicles and put them on stolen or unregistered cars. In most cases, the owner of the properly registered auto doesn't even realize that his registration sticker has been stolen.
I mean, really, when was the last time you checked your rear license plate to see if your sticker was still there?
In any event, the City of Milwaukee has begun issuing $50 tickets to any auto parked in the City of Milwaukee that doesn't have a valid sticker on the license plate. These tickets are being issued even though the parking checker is aware that the vehicle is validly registered! What's more, the City of Milwaukee has also started towing these vehicles. If your car is towed, it will cost you at least $150 to get it back.
In other words, some punk cuts your registration tag off (most likely when it's parked on a street in Milwaukee) and you get ticketed and perhaps towed! Talk about victimizing a crime victim!
This discussion is not theoretical. It's actually occurring. Here is an e-mail I received from a listener who had it happen to him and some of his fellow co-workers.
I felt I should write to you and let you know how the City of Milwaukee is now using the famous or "infamous" parking checkers to generate even more revenue. This happened to me and several co-workers in the last couple of days. I heard you talking to folks the other day about why they are leaving Milwaukee, here might be a prime reason.
I work downtown everyday and so parking is always an issue. When the weather is nice I park a couple of blocks away from work because its free and it is a good exercise in the morning. The other day I left work and walked back to my car. I got in and started to drive and realized I had a ticket on my window. I couldn't figure it out so I pulled over and looked at. I had gotten a $50 (yes $50) for Unregistered/Improperly Registered Vehicle. I was amazed. I looked at my license plate and I then discovered I had fallen victim to a hazard of parking downtown, my 2008 sticker had been torn off my license plate and a 2005 sticker was displayed. Even though I park near a gas station, hospital, school and freeway off-ramp and busy intersection. Now the FUN part ! On the bottom of the ticket it tells me that the plate displays a 2005 sticker, but the registration expires 01-31-2009. So because some idiot steals my sticker I get a $50 ticket. However my vehicle is not either unregistered or improperly registered because the registration is current until 2009. So now I have to take time off to fight the ticket.
Now the real kicker, my co-worker received the same ticket a couple of days earlier and was in the process of getting the sticker replaced through Wisconsin DOT. When I found the ticket on my car I went to check on her truck and it was gone. The City of Milwaukee had towed her truck because of the improper display of the sticker on her license plate. Yes, towed her truck. It cost her almost $150 to get her vehicle back and several hours of messing around at the city impound lot. I also heard the same day that another fellow employee had their car towed for the same reason. Towing cars because the sticker is wrong even though the vehicle is properly registered and not suspended or expired. I can't believe it, since when did parking checkers get the authority to tow a car because the sticker is wrong.
Just thought I would let you know about this latest revenue generator for the great City of Milwaukee. "
By the way, my listener is not the only person
who has been caught by this revenue generating scheme.
Boy, doesn't this make you want to come to the City of Milwaukee? If you can somehow avoid getting beaten by a mob
or shot during a melee,
you know you can count on the pinheads at City Hall to make sure that you'll still leave the CIty as a victim.
The simple solution is that this ordinance should be repealed immediately as it applies to properly registered vehicles. Since through the magic of computers, parking checkers know instantly when whether a car without a valid sticker has a current registration - there's no earthly reason to issue a ticket (much less tow the car). At worst, warn the owner that his sticker is missing and give him a minimum of two weeks to replace it.
Beyond this, why do we still use stickers in the first place? This is the Information Age. To the extent we still need them, how about redesigning them so that they can be displayed from the interior of the vehicle (like the reminders you get from the quickie oil change places). At a minimum, it would cut down on the theft problem.
I recognize that people who fight these tickets will probably win. However, the City is counting on people just paying the ticket rather than taking a day off of work to spend in Municipal Court. That's shameful.
Enforcement of this ordinance against properly registered vehicles shows how little Mayor Barrett and the Common Council think of the people who pay their salaries. Since they've all just been elected to four year terms, the only things that people can do to avoid being plucked is to either check your license plates - or not come to Milwaukee in the first place.
Talk about a Chamber of Commerce moment.