OPINION PIECE BY LINDA SUTTER
Crescent City California, is by far the best place to be for the entire weekend of 4th of July, but this year was a little off beat. Every law enforcement agency was running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to enforce this, that, or the other. There seemed to be little planning to make things run way more smoothly.
For the thousands of people that participated in the affair I counted 14 to 16 porta-potties. None were divided, meaning, that men and women used the same facility. Gross. Whoever planned that has not been to events where they divide the men porta potties from the women porta potties.
Parking was ridiculous and the city Manager who is unauthorized to make official decisions for parking, according to Crescent City California’s own ordinance 10.08.030, was acting like the local Mob Father and having officer’s issue citations when they should not have been.
What needs to be done is issue the Del Norte County Fairgrounds and the empty store lot at the old Rays Market as designated parking, where shuttle buses come pick people up and take them to the downtown area to view the firework display. But it appears people who are in charge do not plan so well, and then we have cops having to endure unnecessary stress, on a nice holiday.
At approximately 8:48 p.m. a group of cars followed each other into an area on front street that had not been posted. As we followed each other into an area and parked; some got out and walked onto the field behind the Marine Mammal Center, others stayed in their car. By 9:00 p.m. the Crescent City Police swarmed the area ordering people to leave even though there were no posted signs.
The three people who left their vehicles to sit on the grass were issued citations of illegal parking to the tune of $5.00! When Officer Gil informed me I had to leave I told him this portion was not posted. Gil asked if I wanted to speak to Crescent City Manager, Gene Palazzo, currently the Mob Father of Crescent City.
I replied that I indeed wanted to speak with Palazzo. When the Mob Father arrived, he didn’t give two hoots about whether the area was left without posting. Since law enforcement here have an issue with discussion I simply complied so I would not get charged with Penal Code 148 (a). That is resisting arrest even if you are talking to them.
In the meantime and after I moved my car, I went back to get the other two vehicle license plates that had citations on them. Once the police left, three more cars came in and parked in the same area. The Crescent City Police drove slowly behind them, did not get out of their vehicles to ask them to move or issue three Once I started exploring the area a little more, I discovered that people who had access to unauthorized areas were either employees of the city or of the Marine Mammal Center. None of them were issued citations or asked to leave.
Was there disparate treatment for parking allowed during this 4th of July, hmmm, ask the folks who received the citations.
Larry Mitchell I contacted this morning. I asked him if he had received a citation. He said, “No,” but as he looked out at his vehicle this morning he discovered he had indeed been issued a citation.
The other two vehicles that were issued citations were a Black 4 door Chevy Silverado Truck and a Grey SR5, 4 door. I also took down the license plates of those individuals who drove up after three of us left, they were the lucky ones.
So Crescent City Council Members and Chamber of Commerce please, next year try to get more organized. Don’t make it so hard on our men and women in uniform having to flip on their lights as though there is a code 3 whenever all it is, is a parking citation for an unmarked, non-posted, area.