I am writing this to let everyone know about a parking ticket scam going on in the dirt lot behind the Midtown (and please know it has nothing to do with owner or operator of the Midtown). Last Friday, Sept. 12, I parked in said dirt lot around 7:30pm to work at a concert at The Domino Room like I've done for the past five years. (I actually always assumed it was part of the Midtown's property, but it's not.) Upon returning home around 1am I noticed a parking ticket under my windshield wiper. When I opened the envelope it was issued for "Not having a parking permit" to park in that dirt lot, a fine of $25, and it was written up at 10pm! On a Friday!! The following Monday I called the issuing company, "Municipal Parking Services," out of Redmond, which is basically a guy and his cell phone, and inquired about the ticket. He informed me the owner of the dirt lot, a lawyer in town (who no one has anything nice to say about, btw) hired his company to ticket people at night during concerts for parking in his lot. He also told me new signs were posted and there was nothing I could do about it. Remember, I've been parking in this same spot for five years without a single problem.
Now here's where the scam comes in:
1)MPS has NO ties with the City of Bend or the DMV (like Diamond Parking has) which they would need in order to pursue people with just their license plate #s (to get their address, etc.).
2)You cannot sell parking permits to the public on an "unimproved lot." The law forces owners to pave, etc. such lots if they wish to do so. Can you think of any dirt lot here where you have to pay to park?
3)The phone # that is provided in the ticket envelope to call to buy a permit reads exactly: 541-317-023. Notice anything missing??
And 4) To pressure people to pay without questioning, they threaten a $50 increase if not paid in 15 days, Diamond Parking isn't even that harsh.
So there you go, they can't legally sell permits for the lot, so they can't legally ticket you for not having a permit, and they have no legal recourse to come after you, so DON'T PAY THE TICKET!! It's just going in the owner's pocket, illegally. Oh, and I checked out the "signs" that are now posted the other night and they are about 6" x 12" and look like someone pounded them into the ground on a stake with a hammer. No phone #s on them, no warning of being ticketed, just "Parking with permit only," so even if you wanted a permit there's no way of knowing how to get one! And I swear if you blinked you would miss them upon pulling in to the lot.
I hope if you got a ticket there within the last week you haven't paid it. And, I hope that if you get one in the coming weeks you throw it away and tell your friends to do the same. It's all B.S. and crooked, greedy people trying to screw their own city.