Friday, July 1, 2011

Cazenovia Park parking fiasco

I'm getting many requests from soccer parents to cover a story that took place this week in Cazenovia Park. Apparently, an overzealous parking enforcement officer ticketed between 50-100 parked cars, while tax paying parents watched their children's soccer games. Cars were ticketed in the Tosh Collins Community Center parking lot, as parents attended a game behind the building. Also, parents and grandparents of 4 and 5 year olds were ticketed as their kids played in games located around the Cazenovia Casino. This is the same casino, which has sat vacant for years until the soccer group decided to utilize it for Wednesday night games two years ago.

These tickets need to be voided immediately. I don't run the summer soccer program. However, I am one of their referees. The cost of one of these tickets rivals the cost of registering a kid in the league. The tickets are a slap in the face to South Buffalo parents who work and pay taxes. They were doing nothing wrong, as this historic Olmsted park was never constructed to accommodate automobiles. Because parents don't want to turn it into a huge asphalt parking lot, they use common sense and park along the roads adjacent to the fields. Obviously, the parking gestapo doesn't utilize a similar amount of this rational thinking.

I just found out about this tonight. I will be contacting the Councilman tomorrow to see if these tickets can be contested. The name of the officer/imbecile who wrote them up should also be made public. He should be suspended/fired for displaying a total lack of common sense. If anyone knows this idiot's name, please forward it to me, so I can issue an immediate decree to egg his house. I can't stomach these guys. They're like the tax collectors from Biblical times. Alternate parking changes at 6PM and they're out there at 6:10 to give people tickets. I don't know how they can sleep at night. Don't give me the crap about following the law. We don't want or need Buffalo to become a police state. The city should be doing everything in it's power to keep families here and leagues like this supported. Instead of punishing the families, the mayor should give Jean and Tom Finn the key to the city, for running a great program serving over 700 children.

What an embarrassment. If you were ticketed, please call Councilmember Kearns at 851-5169 and tell him exactly where you parked. This is a travesty and it's one we shouldn't take lying down. This mayor would never send one of his parking goons up to North Buffalo and ticket people along Delaware Park. The city needs to admit it's mistake and void these tickets. Also, they should mow my lawn and buy me lunch while they're at it.

**Here's a link to a recent Buffalo News article (thank you Observer), talking about how municipalities rely on parking/speeding tickets as just another tax (as if we don't pay enough taxes already in Erie County)...

Local town and village courts collect millions of dollars in fines every year -- nearly $12 million in Erie and Niagara counties last year -- the majority coming from traffic fines.

Communities keep most of the money they collect, making court revenues an important and reliable source of revenue....

Fines steer critical funds to localities


  1. Just another tax...

  2. They also have been ticketing cars if you switch your car at 5:45 on alternate days.

  3. Mike - I completely agree. My children participate in the summer soccer league and it is wonderful to see Caz Park bustling with good clean summer fun. Not the usual punk kids that take up space around the casino. The city should be encouraging programs like the summer soccer league which brings hard-working city families to the park. Shame on them for issuing parking tickets in the park. Thanks for bringing this awful situation to light.

    On another park-related note, can we talk about getting the park paths repaved?? I've lived in South Buffalo my whole life and I don't think they've been resurfaced in the past 30 years. !

  4. I agree about the paths, Peggy. I noticed how worn they were a few years ago. The ones adjacent to Tifft Farms are brand new and are so much easier to run, walk, or ride a bike on. Unfortunately, they won't do anything at Caz until someone gets hurt on them. The Olmstead group now runs the park and I'm not sure what their money situation is.