I wish to provide perspective on the article “Bellingham increases fine for expired parking meters up to $15.” The author discusses how expired parking meters in the major Bellingham parking areas will increase $5 more than the original $10 fine.
As a college student at Western Washington University, I often take the bus across campus. When my family visits, we often take the car to enjoy the beautiful downtown area. While paying $10 once may not seem like a big deal, for a college student like myself paying over $20,000 to attend and live at school, those 10 dollars mean a lot.
The City Council states that “As of Sept. 30, parking fines had brought in $424,257, but the cost of handing out tickets and collecting on them was $595,757.” What makes the cost of handling tickets so much higher? A suggestion to the council would be to leave a leeway time for people to return to their cars. I understand needing to pay your city employees, but on behalf of the sizable population of college students in Bellingham, I am glad the fines haven’t been raised to $20 instead of $15. We need every dollar we have.