Wilmington failed to deal with parking/impound scandal – Now it’s national news

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Good afternoon,

It is hard to find anyone outside government who would come to the defense of Wilmington’s towing policies, especially after news of a Washington, D.C. legal fund filing a lawsuit.

To summarize, the Institute for Justice, based in the Washington, D.C. area, filed the suit citing two outrageous examples of a private towing company impounding cars. At the same time, disputes over the validity of tickets are going through an opaque process.

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The towing company allegedly scrapped the vehicles in a head-scratching move, even though their value ran into thousands of dollars. Under the agreement with the city, the company pockets all of the proceeds while the traffic fines pile up on the victims.

The suit is now national news, with the Reason Magazine/website writing a piece last week. The libertarian site focuses on examples of government overreach and earlier focused on the outrageous parking practices in Chicago.

While you might not have heard of Reason, their website reaches five million visitors a month.

The bad publicity alone should be enough for Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki and the council to end once and for all end parking enforcement practices that have helped run businesses and individuals out of the city for decades. The business community should also get off the sidelines.

Some reforms have been made, but the city is clearly in a foot-dragging mode as it takes a passive-aggressive stance that recently whined about staff time and cost when confronting efforts to force the release of records related to the situation.

With all-out efforts to bring people back to the city for its entertainment, dining, and housing opportunities, it is outrageous that this situation has been allowed to fester.

No one is disputes that towing scofflaws exist, including some who dispatch underlings to feed meters. 

But that is no excuse for the predatory actions that take place among those who are least able to afford to fight city hall.

With our current attorney general Kathy Jennings taking on giant companies like Monsanto/Bayer in court in what some see as headline-grabbing suits,  it would seem to be a no-brainer to investigate practices over the decades.

It might even ensure the AG’s re-election. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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