With apologies from Mayor Rich Cline to all those parking in Menlo Park, the council voted on Tuesday to raise fines for parking violations by $3. The hike goes into effect on Dec. 7.
Menlo Park is passing along an increase in how much money the state collects per citation. Currently the state gets $9.50 for each ticket.
But Senate Bill 857, which passed earlier this year, contained a clause allowing the state to collect an additional $3 per ticket from the city, or about $50,000 more annually, as estimated in the staff report. Without raising the ticket fines, the city would be responsible for paying that amount.
Police Management Analyst Susan Tsai told the council the average ticket cost would be $45 if they approved the increase.
Vice Mayor John Boyle asked whether the increase could be affected by Proposition 26, which passed during the November elections. The statewide proposition requires a two-thirds vote by either both houses of the legislature, or by local voters, to raise certain types of fees or charges.
According to City Attorney Bill McClure, parking tickets don't fall into that category.
With grumbles and apologies, the City Council voted unanimously to pass the surcharge on to local drivers.