"Clean hands" ordinance seeks to clear unpaid tickets
BATON ROUGE – A member of the Baton Rouge Metro Council thinks they have a new solution for collecting thousands in unpaid parking fines.
Mike Walker, who represents District 8, is introducing what he calls a “clean hands” ordinance. It requires anyone who wants to get a permit in the city to make sure they’ve settled any outstanding fines, such as parking tickets.
“If you… want to get a permit to do business, to add on to your home or whatever, your background can be checked to find out if you owe the city anything,” said Walker, “and if you owe the city anything then you have to pay up or you don't get that permit.”
Baton Rouge is owed more than a quarter of a million dollars in unpaid fines from around 60,000 unpaid tickets. People who spoke to News 2 today said they support measures that punish people for not paying their fines.
“I've had parking tickets before, of course I pay them, so I look at it like, I'm paying my tickets, I want to see other people pay their tickets,” said Joshua Malloy.
Besides helping police concentrate on other areas of crime, Walker says clearing the fines would go a long way to helping the city struggle through today’s tighter economy.
“This is new revenue coming into the government that we can use to put forward fighting crime in other areas,” he said.
The Metro Council could take up the issue next month.