Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Fine? There's a fine? Who told you there's a fine? It's not my fine? I don't know nuthtin about no fine Miss Margot!! City license crackdown: Day 2 Blogging is such a magical way to vent your woes and come out a cleaner, saner person. I wonder why it took me so long to start? You just release your troubles out into the blogosphere, sleep a deep untroubled sleep and wake up to find a quarter under your pillow, a fixed disposal, the grass greener on your side of the fence and overseas bank employees wanting to share unclaimed wealth with you; confidentially of course! Today, I woke up and realized I don't need to fight city hall. With no tangible evidence, I have a better likelihood of someone clean and attractive sitting next to me on the el than getting out of this fine. That being sorted, I proceeded to determine how much I owed the city and wash my hands of the whole thing. The ticket directs you to call 311 with questions regarding your ticket. I called 311 to request information on the fine. The operator had no idea and transferred me to the Department of Administrative Hearings. Once again the operator had no clue but was kind enough to transfer me to Animal Care and Control. For those who don't know, Animal Care and Control is responsible for enforcing all animal related municipal code ordinances. The young lady who answered the phone, listened to me for less than 5 seconds before she went into a tirade. "What do you want me to do about it? I can't get you out of no ticket! You just have to pay yo fine!" For the first time in my life, I had to ask and operator to please shut up and let me finish! Once I was successful in quieting her, I explained that I had every intention of paying the fine if someone would simply tell me how much it was. Her response was "Now how am I supposed to know that?!" rather than "Can you hold please while I see if I can get that information for you?" I thanked her, rather sarcastically, for her time and hung up. Once again I call 311. I explain to the operator that I have been channeled between 311, Administrative Hearings and Animal Care and Control to no avail. She also says she has no idea what the fine is. I told her that I simply want to pay my ticket, as good citizens do. I cannot take time off to appear in court, yet if my fine is not post dated within seven days of the citation, I must appear in court. Finally I reminded her that 311 is a helpline and I need her help. She then asked if I had called the Police Department. I told her no and she transferred me to the 24th district office. Officer Jamie answered the phone. I explained my dilemma and he asked if I could hold. When he asked if I needed to know the fine for my dog, I said "I need to know the fine for my dogszzz(emphasizing plurality.) After a long stretch of time, he returned to the line and said he heard it was $25. Now I don't know about you, but the answer wasn't emphatic enough to gain my confidence. I asked for his name and badge number and there was a long pause. Before he could respond, I added that I wanted to make sure I had every i dotted and t crossed. If I was mailing in a fine, that could potentially be inaccurate, I wanted to add a letter explaining the hoops I had to go through to get the information and where the final figure came from. He gave me his name and badge number. Once again, Chicago puts the cart before the horse. Ticketing citizens without any thought to fines, or for that matter, better use of it's men in blue.