City considers parking tickets downtown again

The most common ticket, for overtime parking, will be $38 in Hollister.

Hollister officials are considering reinstatement of time-zone
parking enforcement downtown five years after ending it, and the
council this week directed the police department to make
recommendations about the position and potential fines.
HOLLISTER

Hollister officials are considering reinstatement of time-zone parking enforcement downtown five years after ending it, and the council this week directed the police department to make recommendations about the position and potential fines.

The issue came about after a request for reinstatement by the Hollister Downtown Association, as business owners have complained about those parking spaces being monopolized by employees from nearby merchants and clients of offices downtown, Police Chief Jeff Miller said.

Miller said he is proposing to hire a part-time, non-sworn community services officer for the position responsible for enforcement of two-hour time limits on weekdays and Saturdays. He noted that a police services officer had written the citations before – while spending half of her time on records management – and that the new role would be much less costly and without benefits.

Going that route, he said, would be “more fiscally prudent and more efficient.” He suggested the role would be helpful for someone looking to “build up experience” and added that an additional benefit would be a more consistent police presence downtown.

“I always try to get as much mileage as I can out of it,” Miller said.

If approved, the chief does not expect a revenue gain at the outset because of initial costs such as buying a vehicle and equipment. For about two years, he projected, revenue and costs would amount to “a wash.”

That time frame could be contingent on whether the city increases citation amounts from numbers in the spring of 2004, when the enforcement program ended. Miller said they are “really low” compared with other nearby communities and pointed out how area cities’ figures for time-zone enforcement range from $24 to $38 while Hollister had charged $20.

If the program is reinstated, Miller said the city would give residents “plenty of notice.”

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