Column: Enough time to ticket? |

Column: Enough time to ticket?

Sierra Sun file photoJoanna Hartman

My boyfriend recently received a parking ticket in the mail for illegally parking a truck in the grass at the U.S. Forest Service parcel in Tahoe City called “64-acres” on the Fourth of July. While the arrival of the ticket indeed seems dated, that’s not the issue at hand.

Now let’s just assume the ticket itself is mine, because it might as well have been ” I convinced him to park there. I have no problem paying the $50 fee for breaking a very obvious law. We blatantly parked beyond a sign that read something to the effect of “No motorized vehicles.” It was Fourth of July, after all, and we were running behind schedule ” the parking lot was obviously over-full and other cars were parked illegally so we, too, took the risk.

Fine, now we pay the price. But as the dust settles and I digest the scenario, I come to an obvious conclusion ” this ticket is actually quite ridiculous.

As the reporter for the Tahoe City, West Shore and Squaw Valley areas, I’ve been closely following the possibility of an alcohol ban on the Truckee River for the Fourth of July holiday. And while I must keep my reports unbiased, here in an opinion piece I can tell you the truth ” I, too, floated the Truckee on the Fourth. I saw first-hand the chaos to which everyone is responding.

I don’t necessarily disagree with the possible prohibition. After all, there were near-fatal incidents on the river this year. But the main reason officials are considering a ban is because of law enforcement capabilities. They say they simply don’t have enough officers to control the masses ” because “there are more drunks than any law-enforcement agency could handle,” one official said in a previous article.

Yet they have time to dole out parking tickets? Seriously?

I’m all for law and order. It gives our society structure. But to me this scenario screams inefficiency. In a nutshell, they say there’s not enough law enforcement to cite underage teens for shotgunning beers or stop the hoards of drunken drivers or to help prevent near-fatal incidents at Party Island, but they still have the time and manpower to ticket illegally parked cars. I ask, what’s the bigger fish to fry here?

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