Rolly: Salt Lake City parking enforcers relentlessly on time
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I have written several times about overzealous parking enforcement officers in Salt Lake City writing citations for questionable reasons or, on some occasions, for no reason at all.

I have used such occasions to highlight the conflict between downtown business owners who want customers to frequent the area and the parking enforcement officers whose tactics discourage folks from wanting to shop there.

But this past weekend's activities might just take the cake.

The Utah Arts Festival, featuring arts and crafts booths and live performances at Washington Square, ended at 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The street parking signs around Washington Square indicated public parking was allowed until 11 p.m.

And right at 11, both nights, parking enforcement officers were waiting like vultures for the bewitching hour. As soon as it came, they began writing tickets.

They got the vendors who had to clean up their areas after the 11 p.m. closing time, the aides who helped them clean up and the patrons who waited until the end of the last performances to leave.

Several tickets were written within minutes of the 11 p.m. curfew both nights, including for patrons who were legitimately parked in the disabled parking stalls.

Ted Thurber, who had a booth at the festival, took three tickets written to himself, his son and his son's friend to a parking enforcement hearing officer Wednesday and got all three dismissed. So anyone else who received after-hours parking tickets within minutes of the 11 p.m. deadline should do the same.

But it's a shame such tickets had to be written in the first place.

Follow the bouncing ballots • Voters in future primary elections should make sure they get the ballot they want before filling one out, then discovering later they voted on the wrong ballot.

There were four distinct ballots to choose from in the primary election: a Republican ballot, a Democratic ballot, a Constitution Party ballot and a nonpartisan ballot. The Republican Party had numerous primary contests, the Democrats had a few legislative primaries and the Constitution Party had a statewide primary.

If the voter did not designate which ballot he or she wanted, the voter was given the nonpartisan ballot, which just had school board primaries and bond issues.

One candidate said he heard from supporters who didn't designate the party and ended up with nonpartisan ballots, so they didn't vote for him. Also, he was told one supporter was erroneously told she couldn't have a Democratic ballot because she was a registered Republican.

But Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said her office has received no complaints and that whatever confusion there might have been was negligible.

She said poll workers were instructed that anyone could have a Democratic or Constitution Party ballot who requested them, although only registered Republicans could get a Republican ballot.

Swensen said that after one candidate complained to her office about the confusion, her assistant followed up on the individual cases he cited and resolved the issue before the polls were closed.

Money can't buy happiness • Overstock.com did quite well in business this year, in fact, well enough that it won an award as voted by its peers for Retail Company of the Year, and Chief Executive Patrick Byrne was named Retail Executive of the Year.

The awards are called Stevie Awards and were given out at the American Business Awards banquet in New York.

But politically, Overstock.com didn't do so well.

Seth Moore, an Overstock.com employee, ran for House District 6 in Lehi this year. Byrne, a strong advocate of private school tuition vouchers, remains politically active.

Overstock.com contributed $20,000 of the $22,000 amassed in Moore's campaign fund, which dwarfed the $5,500 raised by his Republican Primary opponent, Jake Anderegg.

But alas, the money didn't matter. Anderegg beat Moore in the primary by nearly 500 votes.

prolly@sltrib.com