Many other municipalities currently charge higher fines than Garden City, namely West Hampton, which issues $450 fines, according to Justice Allen Mathers.
Village Justice Allen Mathers prefaced this month's budget discussion with village officials by candidly stating he didn't care how much money the court makes for the village coffers.
"The purpose of the village court is to fairly and efficiently administer justice," he said.
Last year, $291,000 of the projected $325,000 court budget was actually spent. This year's projected budget comes in at $1,000 less, Justice Mathers said, totaling $324,000.
"We will come in a little lower with the actual cost again this year," he said, adding that much of the savings has to do with the fact that the court is opening earlier, resulting in decreased overtime.
Two acting justices appointed annually by the mayor run the court. Last year parking fines/moving violation fines totaled $1,233,000, a slight increase over the year prior, according to Justice Mathers.
The state pays for all equipment, including computers and printers. Justice Mathers is working on a 30-day renewable contract - also at zero cost to the village - to have parking violations paid by credit card via Internet.
"Villages that have put this in place have seen a marked improvement in the amount of work employees are doing and how much money is coming in," he said. "It turns out the leading company that's doing it is a company we already use."
Of the 95 village/town courts in Nassau and Suffolk counties bringing in the most revenue, Garden City is ranked tenth - without the use of parking meters.
Justice Mathers said he's not advocating the village install parking meters downtown to increase revenue but would like to see trustees raise the fines for those who illegally park in handicapped spots.
He said many other municipalities currently charge higher fines than Garden City, namely West Hampton, which issues $450 fines. Currently, Garden City's fine totals $250 plus a maximum $30 cap the state allows for.
"It really ticks me off when the standard case is, 'I just ran into CVS for aspirin and I had my sick grandmother in the car' or whoever it is and the gentleman who writes the ticket out says there was no grandmother in the car and the car was there for 20 minutes and the guy with no legs he lost in Vietnam couldn't park there ... That bothers me," Justice Mathers said.RELATED NEWS
Become a blogger today!
Get started now