Stimulating Parking Tickets?

The mayor wants $400K for a better way to write you up.

Among the projects Mayor Greg Nickels has sought to fund with federal stimulus money is the purchase of $412,540 worth of new devices to issue parking tickets in Seattle. It’s a proposal that has some asking what hizzoner is thinking since, for one, it adds no new jobs, and two, appears to stimulate only City Hall’s ticket revenues.

At the Web site, Nickels’ ticketing-device proposal appears to have gotten a major thumbs-down. But while Nickels’ $863,709 request to hire 11 new Seattle cops got a plus-18 rating on the site, the parking-ticket plan got a thundering minus-279—a 96 percent disapproval rate. Says one commentator: “What a perfect example of Government spending; they’re taking our tax dollars to spend on devices that will enable them to take more of our money faster!”

Nickels’ request isn’t directly funded in the $787 billion federal stimulus bill. The money will be doled out project by project through federal agencies. Many of the requests are detailed in a long list compiled by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, of which Nickels is vice-president.

His proposed projects total $224 million, and would employ, he claims, 6,465 people. “The list was compiled a month or so ago, not knowing what the federal stimulus would look like,” says mayoral spokesperson Alex Fryer. “We included ideas grand and small…we don’t yet know if this [parking-ticket] request will be part of our official proposal.”

If it is, the money could buy the city’s parking-enforcement officers some of those new high-tech handhelds, which include not only a portable printer, a touch screen, and a downloaded history of your car’s outstanding parking tickets, but a built-in camera to take evidence photos of your poor parking skills. Sounds like just the thing to complement the city’s red-light cameras.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

More in News & Comment

The Monroe Correctional Complex on April 9, 2020. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Formerly incarcerated people regain right to vote in Washington

Rights restored immediately upon release.

Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance
Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance

Nonprofits, activists are expecting greater need as workers are laid off.

Spring Chinook Salmon. Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Salmon update: King County wants cleaner water, more habitat

Salmon and orcas are in the spotlight once again as King County… Continue reading

Guns seized during April 7 arrests (photo credit: Dept. of Justice)
More than 20 arrested across the Puget Sound in drug distribution conspiracy

DOJ says law enforcement agencies seized over 70 guns and hundreds of thousands in cash.

Sheriff’s office wants help identifying Green River killer victim

Staff reports In 2003, Gary Ridgway, Washington’s notorious Green River killer, pleaded… Continue reading

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. File photo
King County needs more lawyers to attack backlog of cases

6,107 open cases is double the normal amount for King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Public Health – Seattle & King County staff administering COVID-19 vaccine to a local emergency responder. COURTESY PHOTO, Public Health-Seattle & King County
Starting April 15, everyone 16 and older is eligible for a vaccine

Gov. Inslee said an expected increase in vaccine supply enables the state to open eligibility.

A CVS pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Phase Finder for vaccine eligibility to be eliminated March 31

Eligibility verification via Phase Finder no longer required for appointments, vaccinations beginning this week.

Courtesy photo
Issaquah School District settles negligence lawsuit for $4.25 million

The lawsuit alleged the district covered for a now-convicted child molester while he was a teacher.

Most Read