This letter is written to the residents of Jersey City following many newspaper articles downgrading the JC Parking Authority, its director, the commissioners (who are unpaid servants) as well as the staff and administrators of the authority. The threat of a takeover without rational discussions about staffing, including the jobs of Jersey City employees is not justifiable:
The Board of Commissioners of the JCPA, all of whom were confirmed by then Councilman Fulop, with the exception of the reappointment of John Tarantula in July, 2012, because the councilman was absent for the vote, would like to set the record straight on a few issues:
The administration has said the JCPA carries a debt of $20 million for uncollected tickets, that is incorrect, it is the municipal court and the city that are responsible for collecting unpaid parking tickets; the JCPA issues the tickets and is not responsible for collecting the fines.
Since 2010, the JCPA has issued tickets totaling over $31 million which translates into approximately $25 million for the city because the JCPA receives $8 for every paid ticket. How the municipal court disposes of these tickets is not under the control of the authority, there is no municipal prosecutor assigned to parking so the JCPA has no representation in court. This is based upon 100 percent payment which we known is not the case because of the $20 million in outstanding ticket payments and scofflaws.
The JCPA, utilizing limited resources has assigned two staff to address scofflaw violators which we manually identify. This has resulted in bringing $2 million to the court for resolution.
The additional 6 million dollar debt has referred largely to the bond payments due for the purchase of offices at 394 Central Avenue, and is based upon a twenty year plan like most loans have. In actuality, the debts refers to an asset because we own the building and adjacent lot, unlike the city that leases most of their offices for hundreds of thousands of dollars and at the end of the year owns nothing. We also collect rent from the US Post Office on the ground floor.
The JCPA also owns fourteen lots citywide which provide a combination of metered and permit spaces for residents and businesses. We do not owe any money on any of these properties, we generated revenue from each location which covers our operating costs.
During emergency situations such as snow, hurricanes, black outs, etc JCPA personnel work in conjunction with the Office of Emergency Management to assist with transporting emergency personnel to assist the residents with medical and other types of emergencies. We also assist the JCPD with street closures and securing areas where power lines may be down or streets flooded.
So we ask, what will happen to staff who have and continue to perform the functions of ticketing illegally parked vehicles, those who interfere with street cleaning functions. Surely we do not expect armed police officers to ticket cars instead of fighting crime and protecting our citizens. How will there be a cost savings? Will the same staff be transferred to the police department? What purpose will that serve?
Chair of Board of Commissioners John Tarantula
Commissioner Angelica Harrison
Commissioner Al Cupo
Commissioner Bhavesh Patel
Commissioner Aury Nunez
Jersey City Parking Authority Board of Commissioners