PRESS BACKS CURLEY ON FINES

The Asbury Park Press is backing Councilman John Curley’s push for a reduction in overtime parking fines in Red Bank from $38 to $25, a move some of the Democratic majority says will blow a $188,000 hole in the borough budget.

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The headline on today’s Press editorial on the issue: “Stop gouging on fines.”

From the piece:

Councilman Michael R. DuPont said the town would need a tax increase to compensate for the projected $188,000 loss in revenue. That’s unacceptable. Councilman John Curley, who suggested reducing the fine, has come up with some sensible ideas for closing the gap, including enforcing meter hours into the evening. The posted hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., but enforcement officers work only until 4 p.m. That makes no sense.

The Press stakes its position on the fact that the current fines “have prompted letters to the council — and to our opinion pages — from people vowing never to patronize Red Bank businesses again.”

Unmentioned in the piece is the Press’ own coverage of the purported difficulty of finding a place to park in town, which would appear to suggest that the economic impact of the fines is tolerable.

It also doesn’t weigh the cost of parking-enforcement overtime against the amount of revenue that additional hours of enforcement would bring.

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