Parking ticket fees could rise
Under a proposal before the council on Tuesday night, the city would raise fines for nearly two dozen common parking infractions to $50. Most of those tickets are now in the $30 to $35 range.
Tickets for parking in a disabled parking zone or in areas set for people with handicap placards will rise to $285 and $335, respectively, up from $275 and $330. Scofflaws could also find themselves responsible for late fees of 35 percent and for attorney and other costs incurred by the city for unpaid tickets.
The new fines would raise an estimated $75,000 a year for the city’s general fund and put Alameda more in line with what neighboring jurisdictions are charging, city staff said in a report to the council. The city reaped $470,000 from parking penalties in 2009-2010.
“The proposed increases will allow for more effective parking enforcement and will likely have a positive , direct impact on the efficient and effective use of public parking spaces in the Civic Center Parking Structure and the Park Street and Webster Street business districts,” the report says.
It says the state has also imposed a $7.50 per ticket fee for court costs, something the city is hoping to recoup by raising fines.
The plan is on the council’s consent agenda, meaning it is not up for a planned staff presentation and council discussion, though the public can comment on the item. Unless a council member pulls it from the consent calendar, it could be approved along with a host of other items on a simple voice vote.
If approved, it would be the first time the council has changed parking ticket fines since November 2007.
In other city news, the council is set to discuss next steps in its effort to hire a new city manager. Mayor Marie Gilmore and Vice Mayor Rob Bonta will ask their dais-mates to consider forming panels made up of either city staff or community members to interview finalists for the job and make recommendations to the council, and also to consider holding a reception so city leaders and the public can meet the finalists. Some 65 people have applied for Alameda’s top staff job, and council interviews are scheduled for Saturday.
The council is also set to discuss mid-year budget adjustments, though council members are getting some good news this year: Revenues are $2.1 million more than projected, driven by an anticipated property transfer tax windfall generated by the sale of Alameda Towne Centre. The city is anticipating some budget overages, though, including nearly a half million dollars in police overtime and per diem costs and another $350,000 in fire department overtime, and another $313,000 in excess leave contributions to be made to police officers’ savings plan.