Carbonear councillor irate over parking tickets
Kennedy confronts municipal enforcement officer at fundraiser
A Carbonear councillor admitted to throwing parking tickets at a town employee during a recent fundraiser for the local fire department.
Coun. David Kennedy said he wasn’t the only person upset with the municipal enforcement officer Gord Parsons at the event, a ball hockey tournament held June 5 in memory of murder victim Quinn Butt.
Carbonear firefighters were the first people to respond to an emergency at a house in April where the five-year-old was found.
The issue that day was vehicles parked along Valley Road. Parsons issued a number of tickets during the event.
According to Kennedy, Quinn’s family was among those to receive tickets.
The councillor’s vehicle was also ticketed.
“To me, there are more im- portant safety issues, and a no parking sign just on the side of the road, I’m not sure why they’re there,” Kennedy said during last Monday’s council meeting. “The curbs on the sides of Valley Road are bigger than an awful lot of roads in Carbonear, and we don’t see (signs) all over Carbonear.”
Kennedy decided to take matters into his own hands.
“In any case apparently, I broke the law, because there’s the tickets,” he said, showing them to other council members at the meeting.
“I took them off the vehicles and I threw them at the enforcement officer, and then he put them back. So as he put them back, I took them and I told him, ‘If you keep putting them on vehicles, I’ll take them off.’ So in any case, he told me I was committing a criminal offence, and I told him to call the police.
“My patience were shot, partly because it was such a long week organizing the event, and then of course you have so many people disgruntled. People were scurrying to move their vehicles as quickly as they could.”
Parsons declined to comment on the incident when The Compass reached him last week.
Kennedy claims sporting events in Carbonear do not receive the same sort of leeway other events attracting large crowds do when it comes to the enforcement of parking regulations.
He later added parking in the area surrounding the Carbonear Recreation Complex is inadequate.
“It’s unfortunate that such a successful event that had 28 teams, once again many travelling from down the shore bringing all kinds of people in, going to our different grocery stores, fast food (restaurants) and everything else throughout the day, gas stations — it gets tarnished by going in and giving out tickets.
“And it happens all the time. It happened last year at the Harvest Run.”
Mayor George Butt Jr. sympathized with Kennedy’s frustrations, but also noted the enforcement officer has a job to do as well.
“So in any case, he told me I was committing a criminal offence, and I told him to call the police.” Coun. David Kennedy
“We put the signs in there — no parking. So he’s just really following our regulations. This is only early in the season, so there’s going to be a dozen of these things. We’re going to have to decide to do something.”
Coun. Ray Noel said there is a legitimate issue with getting emergency vehicles through the area if other cars and trucks are parked on both sides of Valley Road.
“I think it’s unfortunate we do issue tickets sometimes,” he said. “I don’t think it’s for us to tell somebody as to when you enforce the rules and when you don’t, but I think that we could have and should in the future provide some support to the organizers … Even just to direct traffic so that these complications don’t take place.”
It was later suggested the town should look into the possibility of acquiring nearby Crown land to use for parking space or fill in adjoining culverts to allow for vehicles to park there.