It's simple math.
Day-time rules put four-hour restrictions on parking in most lots and street-side spaces in Port Chester. It takes up to an hour for parking enforcement officers to "mark the lots," timestamping cars so they know which ones to ticket when they return four hours later.
But parking enforcement officers work shifts lasting five hours or less, making it difficult to enforce four-hour limits and overnight parking bans. Port Chester trimmed services to save cash like many other towns and villages facing budget shortfalls, and parking enforcement became a part-time job in the village.
That decision has already resulted in controversy, most notably when part-time parking enforcement staff of parked cars on Martin Luther King Jr. Day last year.
In the meantime, elected leaders have tossed around ideas like bringing time limits down to two hours in larger parking lots, and police are trying to make do with the resources they have.
"As has been explained in the past with part time Parking Enforcement Officers the majority of shifts (12 of 16) are under five hours which does not allow for 4 hour time restriction enforcement. Marking of the lot takes up to an hour in itself," traffic bureau Sgt. Charles Vaccaro wrote in response to an inquiry from the mayor. "I have adjusted hours for part time employees to have no gaps in the enforcement time but it does not lend well to limited time area enforcement. Keep in mind the majority of the village is two hour limits."
When Mayor Dennis Pilla sent an e-mail inquiry to police after Republican Trustees Sam Terenzi and Bart Didden raised the issue, police Chief Joseph Krzeminski asked Vaccaro to explain "the difficulties of enforcement in the daytime with the part time parking enforcement officers," and to include ticketing statistics for the waterfront lot. Click here to view details on tickets issued from May to June.
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