LETTER: Overzealous bylaw officer blues

From reader Ann Alma

I always respected bylaw officers as people with jobs that helped us keep things in some sort of order. After this totally over the top unfair incident, I believe this no longer. The parking meter bylaw officers have lost my respect, and here is why.

I parked in the Hall Street section close to Baker Street and discovered that there were no parking meters. I had not parked there in years, if ever. With two quarters in hand I set out to find the place where I could pay for my parking. I am a senior and have not, in many years, had a parking ticket. I found someone to direct me to the newfangled parking system and found out that I needed my car’s licence plate number, which I did not have memorized. Remember, as well as a senior’s body I also have a senior’s brain. By the time I got back to my car to get the number, I had a parking ticket.

Finding this totally unfair I immediately went to the Nelson Police Department where I arrived six minutes after the ticket was issued, proving that I had not just parked my car and gone shopping.

What followed was an email “conversation” with a bylaw officer who decided that the ticket was valid and I had to pay. The explanation that I, as a senior, was on my way to do the right thing and find out how this system worked made no difference to him. He figured the system had been in place for over a year so I should know how to use it.

There is certainly room for improvement in the Nelson bylaw officers’ department, before one bad person gives all of them a bad name.

Ann Alma

Beasley

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