Thanks to the city council’s left-wing, defund the police policies, the City of Seattle has had to forfeit about $5 million in parking and related fines.
Last week, the city announced that 200,000 tickets were being refunded or voided, according to the Seattle Times.
Seattle has strongly pushed the defund the police movement. In 2020 the majority of the council’s nine members agreed with slashing the police budget by 50 percent, though Democratic Mayor Jenny Durkan said she did not support a full 50 percent cut.
Activists at the time loved the move.
Jackie Vaughn of Decriminalize Seattle celebrated the cut and said defunding the Seattle Police Department was aimed at “building a world where we trust and believe in community to provide the safety that we need.”
After the city slashed the police budget, changes were made in various city services, including in traffic and parking enforcement.
Last August, the city transferred its parking enforcement officers from the police department to the civilian offices of the Seattle Department of Transportation as part of its new defund the police policies.
But a major problem cropped up after the move. The corps of ticket writers went from the police, where they had the color of authority, to a civilian office where they had no legal authority to bestow fines on the public.
The city council somehow never thought to write an ordinance to give the new civilian ticket writers the color of authority. And it’s going to cost the city millions.
Democratic Mayor Bruce Harrell’s office has finally moved to correct the situation, and the special commissions went into effect on April 5, but it was not soon enough to prevent voiding more than half a year of tickets.
“Our administration has worked to make the ticket dismissal and refund process as swift and seamless as possible for those impacted,” Harrell told the media. “As mayor, I’m making it a priority to build a culture of collaboration between City departments that ensures we are coordinating and working together as One Seattle to support and improve services for all Seattle residents. I encourage those with impacted tickets, or who may have impacted tickets, to visit Seattle.gov/parking-ticket-refunds to learn more about the refund and dismissal process.”
The move didn’t just void parking tickets. It also impinged on cars that were towed.
The city has decided not to automatically refund costs of towing, reasoning that it doesn’t necessarily take a ticket to get towed. However, the city noted that citizens still have the right to request a hearing on their case.
Still, Chuck Labertew, president of Lincoln Towing, thinks that it won’t be long before some agitated citizen who was towed despite the lack of authority is going to sue.
“What’s going to happen here is that we’re going to get sued, I can guarantee it,” Labertew told the Times. “And I’m going to forward every one of those lawsuits on over to the city.”
Clearly, the repercussions of this mistake are still in the offing.
Seattle’s citizens are in a mess: Some missed work to attend court, many paid for fees and those involved were inconvenienced, causing at least a few to lose faith in the city.
All this is due to Seattle’s Democratic politicians and their half-thought out, botched anti-police policies.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.