Right now, a resident whose car is mistakenly booted must go through a procedure to retrieve some of the money for the boot and ticketing, but the resident does not get all of the money back.
Fulop recently drafted an ordinance making changes to the laws, after reading two articles about the situation in the Jersey City Reporter and hearing complaints from downtown residents about being booted for a first violation.
The penalties of a boot being placed on one's wheel are severe: $110 to have the boot removed, and $42 for the ticket. Residents who successfully fight the booting only get $75 of the booting cost back.
Fulop planned to introduce an ordinance Wednesday to only boot a car with a parking permit violation if it had three or more tickets. Cars could still be ticketed for a violation without being booted. They also still could be towed in an emergency situation.
The ordinance also would close the loophole about reimbursement.
But Wednesday night, the proposed ordinance was withdrawn after City Council President Mariano Vega wanted it studied further by the City Council's parking subcommittee.The 'boot'
Jersey City requires a permit for each of the city's nine permit zones. Those who park in the wrong zone for more than two hours without a residential permit, a visitor's permit or day pass can get a ticket and boot courtesy of the Jersey City Parking Authority (JCPA).
For cars parked illegally in Zone 8, an area including New Jersey City University, the Parking Authority can boot immediately without waiting the two hours.
Some residents have tried to avoid being booted by moving their cars after two hours from one side of a street to the other within the same zone, to no avail.
Once a driver is booted, he or she has to call an automated collector and pay a $110 fine to be able to remove the boot over the phone. The customer will receive a code to enter into the boot's computerized keypad to unlock it.
To fight the ticket, a resident must go to municipal court.
And to fight the booting fee, a resident must do one of three things: write a letter and submit documentation to Parking Authority CEO Mark Russ stating why the boot was placed in error, call the Parking Authority at (201) 653-6969 so an employee can place the complaint in a logbook for further investigation, or go directly to the Parking Authority headquarters at 394 Central Ave. and fill out a complaint form.
If a boot was placed in error, the Parking Authority Board of Commissioners can vote to reimburse $75 of the $110 fine at their monthly meeting once it is approved by Russ.
However, residents are not able to recover the $35 portion of the fine that goes to the private booting company, PayLock, which is based in Sayreville. From the $110 fine, $75 goes to the JCPA budget, and $35 goes to PayLock. Fulop's ordinance would close this loophole. Parking Authority responds
Russ appeared at the City Council caucus on Tuesday to explain the booting policy and respond to Fulop's proposed ordinance.
Russ said the booting policy and parking permit zones were put in place to curb out-of-town vehicles from parking in spaces on the street that should be available to residents.
After he left the caucus, Russ would not answer further questions about the booting and towing policy.
At Tuesday's caucus and at Wednesday's council meeting, Fulop took issue with Russ' defense of the booting and towing policy, saying it punishes residents and downtown businesses, whose customers have been the recipients of boots.
Gaughan criticized Fulop's ordinance, saying people who are complaining about the boots are applying for the proper permits only after the booting occurs, and should not be seeking reimbursement. Comments on this story can be sent to email@example.com.