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Southern hospitality?

January 4, 2017
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

To the editor:

My wife and I vacation on the Gulf annually. We've enjoyed many visits to the various beaches on Sanibel and Captiva islands. We have learned the ins and outs of public beach parking as in "arrive early" and "purchase more than one hour."

On Dec.19, we arrived at the parking area for Bowman's Beach at a little past eight. I went to the parking lot payment kiosk and paid $16 for four hours parking. I made my purchase at 8:11 a.m. and the expiration time was 12:11 p.m., as stated on my parking receipt. I placed my receipt face up on my dash within six to eight inches of my vehicle identification number, so it could be easily seen and read by any police officer working parking duty.

After spending a couple of hours on the beach, we returned to our vehicle. To my surprise I discovered a parking ticket under my windshield wiper, not 10 inches from my parking receipt laying in plain view on my dash. The ticket is for $50 if paid within 14 days and $75 after. The citation, time stamped at 8:32 a.m., states, "No meter recipient displayed." I was and continue to be stunned. I asked my wife, "Why would a police officer do this?" She replied, "Because they can."

While taking a photo of the ticket and my parking receipt on my dash, a young woman next to me stated, "I've gotten three of those in the past two weeks. Now, I take a photo of my receipt on my dash before I go to the beach." What's wrong with this picture?

I am contesting the ticket. But, I have to contest it with the City of Sanibel Citation Processing Center located in Milwaukee, WI. An entity under contract with the City of Sanibel. Upon returning home from vacation on the 27, at a cost of $22.95 for overnight delivery, I have mailed my complaint to Milwaukee. The cost for justice will probably exceed the cost of the citation, but I am in the right.

Southern hospitality? I think not.

Robert Flowers

Summerfield, NC



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