From the Queens Courier:
When Jacqueline DenDekker got a summons for a $55 parking ticket, she called her son.
Her son, Assemblymember Michael DenDekker, called a news conference.
“We are just citizens fighting a parking ticket,” Jacqueline, 74, said in front of the Jackson Heights spot where her tan 2008 Toyota was ticketed. “But everyone else doesn’t have a son in politics. It’s really a shame.”
DenDekker’s car was parked across the street from her 31st Avenue house beneath a sign that says no parking on Wednesdays. The summons said her car was illegally parked – on a Thursday.
There had been no ticket on her windshield, and she was unaware she had been issued one until she received the summons notice in the mail.
“The city was hoping my mom would just pay her ticket,” said the Assemblymember.
His mother has fought three parking tickets in the past five years. Each time she gets a ticket, she buys a disposable camera to document where her car is parked and what the signs say, develops the film, photocopies her ticket and submits it to traffic enforcement. Often, it can take months until she gets an appointment. All three tickets have been dismissed, she said.
“I’m not going to end up paying,” said Jacqueline DenDekker. “That’s not the issue. I’m retired so I can fight it. But what about all the people who can’t take a day off of work to fight the city?”
More than one million parking tickets are dismissed a year – waste of time, paper and postage, DenDekker said.
DenDekker introduced an Assembly bill last year that would give $100 to motorists whose tickets are dismissed by the city. The payment would help alleviate the burden of taking time off of work and serve as a deterrent to overzealous traffic agents, he said. The bill is currently being held up in the Assembly until the City Council passes a similar bill.