Over the past few weeks several people have been asking for an update on the Wilmington Parking Ticket situation. I am thrilled to report the following:
1. Complaints to me about parking tickets, booting, and other issues in Wilmington have ceased – six months ago I was receiving phone calls, e-mails, and posts on the Wilmington Parking Blog almost daily – for the past couple of months I have heard no complaints – I take that as a very good sign.
2, The men and women involved with this issue in the city of Wilmington are to be commended – from Mayor Baker and his staff to City Council – especially councilwoman Hanifa Shabazz – to the City Finance Department to the Parking Regualtion Enforcement Officers (PREOs) to the residents and members of the Wilmington Business Community (Gordon, Carlos, Steve, Mark, Brian, Brad, Pat, Tina, and many, many more!). There were meetings, discussions, brainstorming, and more discussions – everyone stepped up and made this happen!
3. John Rago deserves special recognition – he helped coordinate so much, kept the lines of communication open, put up with my rants, and made sure we all moved in the right direction.
4. In addition to the great improvements made in recent months (better signs, increased communication, etc.) – the city [has started] something truly innovative, here’s the press release [dated June 13th]:
Wilmington’s New $10 Discount for Early Payment of Parking Tickets Begins Today
Wilmington Mayor James M. Baker is pleased to announce that the City’s new $10 discount for early payment of parking tickets is in effect beginning today. The discounted ticket ordinance was approved by Wilmington City Council on June 7 and was originally scheduled to go into effect on Monday, July 2; however, the Mayor said that the City’s finance department and parking enforcement office were able to make all of the necessary procedural changes well ahead of schedule, enabling an early launch of the discount benefit.
Here’s what I hope we all take away from this experience:
First, we all need to work together – if you’re just interested in complaining, then please take a walk to some secluded area and complain all you want – if you want to actually make changes, then be prepared to work with others on solutions.
Second, it’s not about “fighting” City Hall, it’s about engaging in a meaningful way.
Third, when everyone gets together and starts to share ideas, there’s no limit to what can be accomplished. I hope you take every opportunity in the coming weeks at the Italian Festival, the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, and any other events in the city to thank those who work for the city of Wilmington, those in the Wilmington business community, and those who live in Wilmington for helping to make this one of the best cities in the world!
Thank you all for your help, encouragement, support, and ideas – this really is a community project!