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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The price of capital city parking

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

LINCOLN -- This falls under news you can use from the Capital city, most especially if you venture there for the Nebraska football experience.

In the City of Lincoln you might or might not be able to find a ducat for a Saturday dustup at Memorial Stadium.

Park in the wrong place for any length of time, however, and the Lincoln Police Department will give you a ticket. But it won't get you into the game

A run-of-the-mill parking ticket will still cost $10. Until this year, the fine remained at $10, regardless of how long the scofflaw took to pay it.

No more. If you don't take care of that parking violation within seven days, the cost goes to $25.

This is of potential import to visitors, since it's well known that many upstream Nebraskans are inclined to go home, take a parking ticket out of their Big Red jacket, and say: "Remind me to pay that thing."

If the Huskers lost, the dialogue might change to: "Remind me to pay that (expletive deleted) thing."

Then there is the matter of having one's vehicle towed.

The plan is for the city to tack on a new $50 fee whenever a vehicle is towed by the police, or even if the tow is ordered by one of Lincoln's ever-present traffic control officers. The new $50 charge is in addition to the $49.53 it already costs to recover the impounded vehicle.

With a total cost just short of $100, which certainly could be put to better use than padding Lincoln's coffers, the entire thing is a consummation devoutly to be avoided. For that kind of money, you could get a decent ticket to the Ohio State game, just trolling the scalpers near Barry's bar.

Your right to know

You're familiar with the legal notices published in your local newspaper. Lots of important stuff is contained therein.

Here's a suggestion. Maybe it would be a good idea if Nebraska statutes required publication of certain information about our Representatives and Senators in Washington.

The view from here: It would be a good idea for every state.

The information could be published under a standing headline. Something like: "What they said, and what they did."

Let's say a politician who inhabits the Potomac neighborhood sets up a loud, public cry and condemnation of a federal program -- and then is found trying to milk it for the purpose of serving pork to the folks back home.

Or even better, if the politico acquires the goods from a program previously condemned for public consumption, and then makes a point of ballyhooing the acquired booty to impress constituents.

It should be an entirely nonpartisan deal. No reference to anyone's party affiliation. Example:

Legal Notice

Rep. I.M. Loudengross, Jan. 1 -- "I stand four-square against funding the Fulltime Odd Jobs program!"

Rep. I.M. Loudengross, October 1st -- "I am glad to stand here and say that four square blocks of this area will be dedicated to training my constituents for jobs that are odd!"

The notices would be paid for with a Congressional appropriation.

We would then look forward to the day when a Representative or Senator would declare -- "It's true that the published legal notice shows, quite accurately, that I said one thing; and then proceeded quite blatantly to do the opposite. Let me assure you this was not hypocrisy. It was, instead, an effort on my part to, uh, support the Fourth Amendment the people's right to know by making sure the program is adequately funded by personally participating!"

Smile. But don't laugh. Stranger stuff has happened.

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J.L. Schmidt
Capitol View
Nebraska Press Association