Offer to pay fine rejected

A motorist who vented his anger over a $60 parking ticket to Dunedin city councillors yesterday prompted an "embarrassed" Cr Lee Vandervis to reach into his own wallet.

However, Cr Vandervis' attempt to hand over $60 in cash during yesterday's Dunedin City Council public forum was rejected by the man, and quickly labelled a "setup" by Cr Fliss Butcher.

The motorist, Mark Lambert, had decided to use yesterday's public forum to object to the $60 ticket he received on April 21.

Mr Lambert said he was ticketed while briefly double-parking to drop his wife outside Les Mills Gym in Dowling St, "something people do at Les Mills every day of the week".

He claimed he was not obstructing anyone while double-parked, but was not angry with the parking officer's decision to issue the ticket.

Instead, he wanted councillors to change the policies under which parking officers operated, to encourage greater use of discretion by parking officers and prevent the public from being brow-beaten for minor infractions.

That prompted a sympathetic Cr Vandervis to say he had "suffered similar indignations" himself.

After inquiring about the size of Mr Lambert's fine, Cr Vandervis then left his seat and offered $60 in cash to express his "sympathies".

As Cr Butcher claimed a "setup", Mr Lambert also took to his feet to return the money, saying he did not want the donation.

An undeterred Cr Vandervis said he planned to address other complaints about the city's parking officers, while Cr Teresa Stevenson called for a staff report about the use of discretion by parking officers.

"This issue does come up a lot," she said.

Council community life general manager Graeme Hall said in response the matter would be discussed at the next meeting of committee chairmen and deputy chairmen.


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