Sarasota News Leader

06/06/2014

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state law, that towing fee is capped at $125, making the total cost for a third offense $275. Moreover, when a deputy writing a ticket determines the vehicle already has an out- standing ticket that has not been paid, the car should be towed immediately. If the culprit can slink back to Michigan or Ohio (or wher- ever) without paying all of those accumulated parking fines, he or she might think an addi- tional bargain had been scored. Patterson's sympathy for the poor tourists who might have their cars towed for illegal parking is misplaced. Her responsibility is to the residents of Sarasota County in general and Siesta Key in particular. And allowing the perpetuation of a public safety nightmare is not how one looks after one's constituents. She needs to take the lead on the County Commission to insist that the fines for illegal parking anywhere on Siesta Key — not just on Avenida de Mayo — be significantly increased on a tiered basis. In addition, those consid- ering parking illegally need to be alerted to the fact that towing will be enforced to secure compliance. Her fear that towing parking scofflaws might discourage tourism — "If you park on a street and get towed away, you're probably never coming back," she naïvely predicted in October — is unfounded. It also begs the question: Why do we want lawbreakers com- ing to our county in the first place? The County Commission's haphazard efforts to correct the illegal parking problems on Avenida de Mayo have failed. It is time the board members did their jobs and resolved this matter once and for all. % COMMENTARY WHERE DID GOOD MANNERS GO? By Harriet Cuthbert Contributing Writer COMMENTARY Where did our g o o d m a n n e r s go? When did we decide to forgo responding to invitations? Where did this "divine right" originate? I am sure it is not from the royals; they have impeccable manners. When you think about it, the act of being invited to someone's event is a high form of flattery. It means the host wants you to be at his/her gathering to help contribute to its success. In many cases, a good bit of expense is involved on the part of the person issuing an invitation. The host has counted on you to be there (or at least reply, indicating your plans). Hosts spend money on food, drinks, servers, etc., guessing that you will come if they do not hear otherwise. It should not be their job to chase you down to get a response. OPINION Sarasota News Leader June 6, 2014 Page 89

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