Driven Insane | Letters | Chicago Reader

Driven Insane 

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Ben Joravsky:

I feel that the subject matter of "The Law Nobody Heard Of" (March 5) bears a much deeper look. I'm sure all of us who read Susie McSweeney's story could sympathize because of our own similar tribulations, but at the same time were none too surprised by it either.

It's all too obvious that the methods by which the city issues tickets for parking violations need some major revamping. I'm sure hundreds of tickets a month are issued unjustly for absurd and outdated laws, or in many cases (like mine) for no apparent reason at all. Of these, I'll wager that only a fraction are disputed because, unfortunately, experience proves that the city always wins, fair or not.

I imagine the Department of Revenue takes so many calls from individuals pissing and moaning all day that by now they're numb to our complaints. We need a louder voice to put a spark under someone's ass for a change to even be considered. This is why the Reader needs to dive headfirst into a story on this.

Issues that could be discussed: how much in revenue the city makes a year from tickets; their record-keeping systems and the problems and mistakes that have occurred through it; (poor?) customer service; how the actual ticket issuers are trained compared to what they actually do when they're out on their own; and a ton of interviews with people like Susie McSweeney, through which you'll find that her story probably (sadly) isn't all that strange. Countless idiosyncrasies in the city's methods will be uncovered by an in-depth report.

I am sensible enough to know that no matter what happens the city will always win all disputes. But with some changes, we can at least hope for revised standards and an end to tickets issued for frivolous reasons and outdated laws. I hope you guys think about it.

Dave Paoletti

W. Surf

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