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Long Beach is owed $18 million in parking fines, councilwoman says

March 28, 2012 |  5:32 pm

Parking ticketIn a statement released Wednesday, Long Beach Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske said she has been told that the city is owed $18 million in unpaid parking citations.

That troubles her, she said, because a 2009 audit found the same problem, only at the time Long Beach had failed to collect just $11 million.

Schipske's statement comes one day before officials plan to publicly release the findings of a new audit.

In response to the earlier audit, the City Council had approved a pilot program allowing the use of parking boots to encourage drivers to pay. The council also required it be given updates on the pilot program and that improvements be made to the city's collection system.

"Didn't happen," Schipske said in the statement. "There have been serious cuts to core city services made to balance the city budget and very little effort to make certain the city is receiving every dollar it is entitled to received from citations, fees and contracts -- even after the city auditor has pointed out that hasn't been done."

She said the city should consider contracting out billing and collection services for parking citations, ambulance and paramedic services. She also said the city should direct its city manager to request Southern California Edison to perform an audit of all electrical meters on city property to verify that the meters are accurate.


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Photo: A parking ticket waits for one driver. Credit: Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times