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Letter to the editor

It’s October 11th. While returning to my vehicle parked in the Presbyterian Church parking lot I noticed I had something in the wiper blade. As I realize this is a parking ticket I am stunned… Parking ticket? I think to myself as I turn in all directions.. From what?!?! Later that evening during my down time I contemplate this issue. I have been parking here for over a month now. Never saw any tickets on my vehicle or the next.

Oct 12th. After a long thought I decided to contact the Campus police dept.

I explained I received parking ticket in an area where other vehicles were parked and that there was no signs to indicate that no one was to park there. He first began to inform me I could appeal the ticket. Appealing the ticket isn’t what I called for I tell him. I let him know I called because there was no sign and just having a sign would make the world of difference for me and everyone else trying to use the space. While speaking to the man (over the phone) he explains to me that Campus Police and Maintenance work together and that he would say something about this matter. Now at first I was super happy. I thought to myself. Wayne you did good job. You helped someone with a flaw without criticism or judgment.

A few days pass and I noticed no sign has come up. Then the next week comes and still no sign. I contact the Campus Police once again. This time I ask to speak to the C.O. and wouldn’t you know it I was put on hold after having to explain what a C.O. was and given to a woman named Beth. Seemingly Beth is a little more than assertive she comes off rather rude in fact and does not want to put me with the  C.O. and begins to explain to me this or that. I try explaining things to Beth with no avail and realize she has no authority so maybe I need to look elsewhere.

Oct 16th – 19th I take My issue To Dr. Gary I explain to her my concerns and she states she is willing to help. Dr.Gary informs me she will contact Chief Randy Melton and get him on board with the situation. She tells me he is a man of Honor and Integrity. It takes a few days but through persistence I prevail and land some time with Chief Melton. While speaking to Chief Melton I noticed he was giving me the “Smile and Nod Act” I tried explaining to him several reasons why students should NOT receive a fine for the first offense. He tries to get me to appeal my ticket. I quickly let Chief Melton know I plan on paying this ticket. The problem isn’t that I Wayne got a ticket and that the issue lies in the fact Campus Police are ticketing students for an offense they do not even know they are committing. That a Warning ticket or infraction was a much better choice because that at least was informative to the effect that if a student received a warning then there would be no need for a sign because they would then be knowingly committing a fraudulent and devious act. Then by all means should his Dept. Ticket anyone for parking there with a stiff fine. Instead This is the answer I get

“ I do not see a sign being put up in the near future”

At this time I knew Chief Melton had no intentions of changing anything nor putting up a sign to EDUCATE others.

Thing is a curb is a curb. Example: On the road, you can park on the curb as long as there is no sign indicating you cannot park there and or your vehicle does not block the causeway (road). There is no difference between a curb on side of the road or one in a parking lot. These students are doing what anyone what do in an over filled parking lot. They are parking on the curb. One that does not block the causeway or a double space. Now there are signs in this parking lot in other places stating you cannot park there. But not here in this section and this is where the offense is allegedly committed.

With all that being said. Keep in mind the Campus Police Dept. makes at least 3 rounds to this parking lot each day. The ticket cost $25.00. They are getting anywhere from 3,4-6 vehicles @ a time. The math says around $300.00 potentially a day. From Monday-Friday that’s an upwards of $1,500 weekly. Now this assuming they catch this many people (who are unknowingly) violating the parking terms. Because I attend class @ TJC @ different times in the day This is where I gather my data from. I see them personally @ these separate times. So, This is what I have to go off of. Imagine if you will that I am any where near correct even just ½ of what I say is correct the Dept still collects 3 grand a month from this. 1,500×4=6,000 ÷ 2 = 3,000 .  The first week could have paid for a REALLY NICE sign (Imo)  To do this in this fashion is a form of racketeering or extortion. To take these students $ knowingly. To not want to be informative (E.g. Sign Or other Indication) is crime to say at the least. As a law abiding citizen I am willing to accept any wrong doings I commit even if they are petty or unintentional. I cannot however sit back and watch someone continuously take from another and then try to use some piece of paper stating what this or that is when you could just use better judgment and EDUCATE others rather than SUBJUCATE them to a means that only benefits your own causes. That’s a crime.. It’s a crime for me to stick my hand in your pocket and take anything without your knowledge and taking $ for a ticket even after SOMEONE anyone has pointed out the obvious flaw is extortion.

Fact is. Tjc as a whole is a Institute of Higher Learning. As such we strive to make improvements in our everyday lives not just for ourselves but for our future. These Students make up our Future. We are here to Educate not Extort. To extort is to obtain something especially money, through force or threats. We are being forced to pay for something no one even knows they are committing a wrong. We could be practicing a much better form of structure. Honestly all anyone can learn from this form of punishment is that you can do whatever you want to others as long as you have a piece of paper or badge saying so no matter if its correct morally because it benefits you. The last time I heard the Motto was “To Protect and Serve” maybe this Dept. should change it to “We do what we want” They sure have no intentions of working with the people and that’s a fact.

I understand that there are larger issue’s than parking sign. I for one am aware and uphold that there is such. However if you want someone to have trust and faith in what you are doing you must first establish the validity of such. I see no reason to take $ from these students until it  is formally known and made clear in some form or fashion. This way no one else can feel as if they are being taken advantage of. Because they do. I have asked some. They are just afraid to step forward and I am not.

Thank you for your time,

Wayne Propst

TJC STUDENT

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