Policing for profit update: The City of Atlanta, which outsources the enforcement of parking ordinances, is considering giving PARKAtlanta the boot.
The seven-year contract expires next year. Meanwhile, the parent company from Milwaukee pays the city $5.3 million a year for the privilege of having its employees roam the streets and ticket drivers who dare let the meter expire.
Now consider that Atlanta’s population is about 450,000, roughly the size of Virginia Beach. The 6 million figure you have in your head comes from adding in dozens of suburbs, which want nothing to do with the core city.
To make its franchise payment each year, PARKAtlanta needs to harvest about $12 from every man, woman, in-between and child in Atlanta. The city fathers, of course, hope most of the money comes from visiting tourists and suburbanites.
Companies providing these kinds of “services” are always criticized. But complaints about PARKAtlanta are off the charts.
Reports the AJC’s Katie Leslie: “The company has come under fire for aggressive and at times erroneous ticketing and booting, not to mention confusing signage and high fees.”
A whistleblower appeared on TV a few years ago and pronounced the company “vultures.” She said employees are often threatened with dismissal for not meeting quotas. They have been caught in the act of issuing fraudulent tickets.
Mayor Kasim Reid has indicated he is open to replacing PARKAtlanta when the contract ends. The process starts soon with town meetings.
Hizzoner wants input, and this orange cat is happy to comply: Screw you, Kasim, for not looking out for the people.