Letter: 57 cars towed with little warning

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

I live in Concord, and I’m a member of the city’s Board of Ethics. During the night of the Dec. 22-23 storm, my neighbor had her car towed and ticketed by the city. It cost her $180 and $100 dollars, respectively. She was told afterward that there was a winter storm parking ban on. But she – and I – had no idea that such a ban even existed, much less that it was in effect that night. There was no signage on the street to indicate it.

I teach philosophy at Colby-Sawyer College, including on law. In order for a law to be just, it must be publicized. A reasonable person who doesn’t know a law exists shouldn’t be fined for breaking it. On many winter nights in Concord, we see cars on the streets; how was my neighbor to know that last night was different? A police staffer said it was announced on TV – but my neighbor doesn’t watch TV – and social media – but she doesn’t use much social media. A police officer told us that 57 cars were towed that night: That’s a lot of residents who didn’t know.

By my calculations, the city and/or the tow companies made around $16,000 dollars that night from tow fees and tickets. That’s a cash cow. But it’s an unethical one. I believe the City Council needs to do something to better advertise that a winter parking ban ordinance exists, and when it’s in force.

Craig Greenman