By Terry Bradley
First: I love InCity Times. The price is right and it is 100% better than the local newspaper that some people pay outrageously for. It’s not sugar coated and you tell it like it is. You cover local news that is pertinent to our city and its residents. You are not afraid or intimidated.
I really enjoyed your piece on Pat’s Towing. And I am very dismayed that they got the towing contract from the city again. You are 110% correct when you say, “get-outa-my-way-or-I’ll-mow-you-down”; “cretins”; “blood money”; “pond scum”; and “demons”.They have no hearts and they do speed through the narrow city streets with their enormous beast trucks. I work downtown and see them daily circling like vultures looking for victims. I’ve come close to being hit by a truck barreling down the street.
My story is about the night I went to see “A Christmas Carol” on the 18th of December at the Hanover. (When we arrived we actually saw Pat’s tow trucks circling the block looking for victims.) After having an enjoyable evening, I came out to find my car gone. Like you, right away I screamed “PAT’S”.
The irony is, I was legally parked in the parking lot for which I pay monthly, with the tag hanging from the rearview mirror. I walked back to the Hanover to speak with the security person on duty. He directed me to the police officers outside directing traffic and crossing pedestrians. They were not surprised at my story and told me what the police think of Pat’s Towing and they told me there was nothing they could do because the city continues to give Pat’s the contract. When I got to Pat’s the dispatcher was very rude. He said there was nothing he could do. He had to contact the driver who made the tow. Why, I can’t understand. He contacted him by two-way radio. Then I had to wait twenty to thirty minutes for the driver to get back to the station. That I don’t understand at all.
So I explained to him how I had a legal tag attached to my mirror and my vehicle should never have been towed. Then he played twenty questions: What does the tag look like? Where did I get the tag? Was I a resident of the Mayo buildings? How long have I been parking in that lot? Who do I pay my fee to? How do I make my monthly payments?He finally unlocked the gate and went to my car, as I followed him. The first thing I did was to take a picture of my tag, hanging on my rearview mirror, sitting in Pat’s lot. He told me he was a night driver and did not recognize that particular tag.
Long story short, after about an hour of inconvenience I was able to drive my vehicle out of there and my friend was late for work. As I was leaving, another couple were walking in, in tears. I told them “Good Luck”, as they were dealing with idiots. And nobody ever apologized for the inconvenience or error on their part.
My problem is, what does this say about our city? That company is representing our city. Is this the way we want it to represent our city to out of town visitors? And with the Hanover, there are many out of town people coming in. Do we want them to have the impression our city has a bunch of idiots? A scenario – a couple comes a long distance to an event. They spend money for the event, maybe a dinner and drinks at a local restaurant, maybe an overnight stay at a local hotel if they’ve traveled far enough.
They come out later, in the dark at night, to find no vehicle in an unfamiliar city. After finding out where the vehicle is, they have to call a cab to get to Shrewsbury St. When they get to Shrewsbury St. they find out they have to find an ATM because Pat’s does not accept checks or credit cards. Strictly CASH! I wonder how much cash has been put into their pockets and illegally not reported as income in the past several years. I was told their fee is $175., although I did not end up paying a fee, so I don’t know for sure. Add to that the hour or more they have been inconvenienced.
Who would want to come back to a city like this?If Mayo had any sense at all they would pay a person, or two, for the night to let people park there and collect a fee to park That makes a lot more sense to me.I’d also just like to extend my condolences on the loss of Bailey. That entire experience must have been heartwrenching. There was no reason to leave that dog outside in the vehicle.