Handicapped parking

Dear Editor:Mr. Contessoto's letter about the police officer not issuing a citation for someone parked the handicap spot rubbed me wrong. I often have the same problem. Here's what got my craw: a few months back, I got a "fix it" ticket in Downey for having a rear light out. No problem as I was on the way to have my truck serviced and would have had it fixed. Never the less, the officer chose to cite me - OK, fair enough. Fix-it tickets, however, are no longer a matter of going to get the infraction fixed, having it signed by an officer and mail it in. Now there is a $17 charge for a certificate and a $25 court cost. I can live with all that but when I went to court weeks before my ticket notice, I stood in line for 45 minutes only to be told it was not in the system and to come back in November on the Saturday before the Monday I was due in court and endure another long line. Then I got a summons stating my license would be put on hold and I now had a fine of over $800. So I had to spend an hour and a half to appear before a judge and explain everything and got everything taken care of. But not without three court appearances and over three hours of my time. Now, back to Mr. Contessoto's letter: we have a person guilty of a violation and one that would bring in much more money than $25 who is cut loose. What's up with that? Maybe we need to have a sit-down meeting with the new chief and let him know his priorities on citations should be reexamined. On a happier note, I am so glad to see my friend John Zander making the comeback. He's a tough guy and will take on the challenges and will win. Steve Voigt Downey

Dear Editor: Very seldom do I have the urge to write a letter addressing another reader's comment critical of the police. To each their own and their opinion is as good as mine. However, I must address Mr. Contessotto's diatribe condemning police response to a call. To start, he took it upon himself to approach a total stranger and most likely berate him for parking in a disabled person's spot. His "attitude" is apparent from the manner in which he writes. So he castigates this person for parking where he says he doesn't belong and is told to go ahead and call the cops. What did Mr. Contessotto expect? A nice polite discussion with a total stranger after he just told him he's doing something illegal? This guy owed him nothing and did not need to explain anything to him, a nosy private citizen. Then Mr. Contessotto has the gall to have someone call 911? an illegally parked vehicle does not warrant a call to an emergency dispatcher. Maybe it was an emergency to him, because he didn't strike fear into this person sufficient to make him move, but from a legal standpoint not so much. So finally the officer arrives to investigate and now he's livid because he blocked the guy in to keep him from leaving. Well, Mr. Contessotto did want the gentleman talked to, didn't he? Blocking his exit ensures he's not going anywhere until the officer is finished. Then Mr. Contessotto blows a gasket because the officer did not write him a parking ticket. Officers have discretion in certain areas and not every broken law needs an application of the "letter of the law." Often the "spirit of the law" works as well if not better. Is it possible the person does have a disabled person's placard and forgot or neglected to hang it? Perhaps he showed it to the officer. Perhaps whatever explanation he gave was satisfactory. Perhaps the officer chose to issue a warning; that is his/her prerogative. Mr. Contessotto is going to approach the wrong person one of these days and the outcome could be drastically different. I get the impression Mr. Contessotto is a senior citizen that feels some sense of empowerment due to age and wants every law, every place, every time enforced without the application of discretion or common sense. For those that say one should not be afraid to speak their mind, they're right. But pride goeth before a fall and discretion is the better part of valor. You could be right in your actions but be dead right. What's it worth? Keith Underwood Downey

Dear Editor: I, as many do, get very irritated when I look for a disabled parking space and they are taken by a person that has someone in their family that has a card for their mirror but is not with them. As a wheelchair-bound person, I have had to park in places that are hard for me to get out of the car so I just stay home while my husband does the shopping by himself. Costco, Sam's Club and malls are really bad and have the responsibility to have someone watch for this problem, especially during the holidays. There are signs but no one pays any attention to them. And these laws are not enforced in any way. Some people do not think of the people that really need to park close. I know of people that have worked at doctor's offices and have filled out the card and taken it to the DMV. These permits are very easy to get. Signs don't do any good when they are not enforced and only the responsible abide. I complete agree with Mr. Contessotto. Rosie Carter Downey

Dear Editor: The officer also didn't issue Mr. Contessotto a citation for misuse of the 911 system for reporting a parking violation. Shannon Harp Downey

********** Published: December 13, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 35