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Friday, December 21, 2007

Parking Enforcement in NorthWest Carrollton

Please be advised that the 2nd District is ticketing parking violations.

Please see the President’s response to a resident of NorthWest Carrollton who, almost, got a ticket this AM for parking facing the wrong direction.

Sent: Friday, December 21, 2007 12:15 PM
Subject: Re: how to lose members and infuriate people

(Name removed),

I can totally appreciate that almost getting a ticket at the holiday season is a bad experience. I’m very glad the policeman backed off when you said you’d move the car.

I’d like to give you a bit more background on NWC efforts.

We started asking the asking the police and city to enforce parking and speeding laws a year about a year ago. Working with the police to get them into the neighborhood is a very good thing. The second district didn’t know where we were in January 2006. Today the cop who was writing tickets knew the neighborhood. While this still doesn’t make almost getting a ticket fun, it is an improvement. We want the police to know who we are and where we are and not just when people are getting robbed or shot or stabbed.

Speeding on Pritchard is bad, but nothing compared to what happens during the school year on Apricot. We’ve asked for and gotten police ticketing folks for speeding in our neighborhood. Not as often as we’d like but they have responded. We’ll continue to ask for speeding enforcement throughout the neighborhood.

The parking issue has many layers.
One layer is associated with Mr. Russell, the neighborhood towtruck driver who parks abandoned cars all over the neighborhood and who the 2nd district just helped us get convicted last week. We have repeatedly asked for parking enforcement in our year long fight to get Mr. Russell to stop trashing the neighborhood.

Another layer is associated with our effort to plant trees in the neighborhood. People who park on the green space between the sidewalk and the street endanger our tree planting efforts. People who park on the sidewalk make pedestrians park walk in the street and this affects the walkabilty of the neighborhood and is not good either. Last weekend we planted 28 trees in NWC. We specifically and recently asked the 2nd district about parking enforcement because Mr. Russell was parking his tow truck right where a tree was slated to be planted.

One of the things I personally did throughout 2006 and 2007 was to place notices on cars that were parked illegally. I wanted to make sure that folks who lived in the neighborhood knew when they were parking illegally so that they could adjust their parking habits and avoid getting a ticket . You can ask (name removed) next door, I know I placed one on his car, specifically because he was parked facing the wrong direction. I don’t remember if I ever placed a notice on your car. I did this through out the summer & fall as often as I could to try and avoid just what happened to you today. We also talked about parking enforcement at our neighborhood meetings.

In order to make our neighborhood safe and clean and walkable and livable we need to work with the police as much as possible. It has taken almost a year to get parking enforcement. We expected it would take this long. Unfortunately we can not tell the police to selectively enforce parking ordinances. When they come into the neighborhood to write parking tickets all violations are fair game.

Again, I am very glad that the police did not write you a ticket and allowed you to move your car. I hope that this gives you a better understanding of our efforts and I hope that this understanding will help us not lose you as a member. I’m sorry you were infuriated. I’m home today working on house cleaning and repairs. If you’d like to come down and talk to me about this or any other concerns, I’d welcome a visit.

Jenel Hazlett

Sent: Dec 21, 2007 10:25 AM
Subject: how to lose members and infuriate people

So, this morning I almost got a ticket for parking against traffic in front of my own house. Luckily the policemen backed off when we said we’d move the car. He was very quick to apologize and point the blame at our NWC for hounding his sergeant to address this PROBLEM. Maybe you’d like to change your focus to speeding. We park the car in the street, NOT our driveway to slow the cars down.

If we had gotten the ticket you can bet that if NWC ever asked me for money again, I would say no. And the week before Christmas! I swear this is not the time to be adding $20 to people’s budget.

I can understand that you don’t like cars parked the wrong way. My personal pet peeve is cars that block the sidewalk. However, I think it would be appropriate to WARN members via email that this is a hot item for you so that we can be aware. Honestly!!! This is not the way to build neighborhood unity!!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mr. Russell & Ramifications

Today our neighborhood tow truck driver went to Municipal Court.

Neighbors, Justin Schmidt- legal consul for Roberts, Quality of Life Officer Eddington from the 2nd district were in attendance and testified. See the letter NorthWest Carrollton provided to the 2nd district and the court below. Mr. Schmidt spoke of about the trailer full of gas tanks and the toxic remediation they had to do at the Roberts site. (Thank You Justin! Officer Eddington! and Captain Bouyelas!)

The judge gave Mr. Russell a $500.00 fine, and 30 days, which were suspended. BUT
The judge also gave Mr. Russell 40 hours service with the Sanitation Department riding the garbage trucks. Quality of Life Officer Eddington will be following up with Mr. Russell.

We hope Mr. Russell sees the error of his ways.

**Letter sent to New Orleans Municipal Count below **

I am the president of NorthWest Carrollton Civic Association. The boundaries of our neighborhood are Earhart-Carrollton-Claiborne-Leonidas.

Mr. Russell lives in our neighborhood. He also operates his towing business illegally inside our neighborhood. He tows cars into the neighborhood and dumps them on our streets. He leaves these abandoned and non-functional cars on our streets until he has striped them down. This process can take weeks. He dumps the toxic fluids indiscriminately on the ground. He leaves tires that are not picked up by city services strewn on our streets. He leaves other useless car parts behind in his wake. He is disrespectful and abusive when neighbors attempt to talk to him about his illegal activities.

NorthWest Carrollton has worked with the NOPD 2nd District Commander and the Quality of Life officer to encourage Mr. Russell to change his ways. The 2nd District Commander rode with Mr. Russell in a squad car and had Mr. Russell show them which cars dumped in the neighborhood were his. He has been given numerous warnings by NOPD. He still continues his illegal activities. Cars are still dumped in the neighborhood.

Mr. Russell has used the paved lot behind AutoZone to dump and strip cars. Mr. Russell used the old Canal Villere Parking lot to dump and strip cars. He has been chased from one end of our neighborhood to the other. His current primary operating location is Apple Street. (see the enclosed picture) Approximately once every 2 months members of NorthWest Carrollton ride around and compile a list of abandoned vehicles and provide this to the 2nd District Quality of Life Officer. We also pick up Mr. Russell’s abandoned tires. In pursuit of anything that could get Mr. Russell to follow the laws, we contacted the State Police and were told by Major Minor that Mr. Russell does not have a valid Tow Truck license.

In addition to 2 years Katrina recovery, the neighbors of NorthWest Carrollton have spent 2 years of cleaning up after Mr. Russell. We ask that the court take this information into consideration.

Jenel Hazlett - President
Karen Gadbois - Vice President
Scott Andrews - Secretary
Kim Carver - Treasurer
Debi Theobold - At Large & Crime Liaison