A SYDNEY family on holiday in our town believe they have “been stalked” by a Port Macquarie parking ranger.
The Baloghs parked in a quarter-hour zone near the Glasshouse while enjoying lunch at a cafe on Clarence Street from around 1pm until 2.30pm on Wednesday.
Upon returning to the car, Linda, her husband Steve and their son Brendan, 17, noticed the quarter-hour sign, when they thought two hours was the limit, as it is on end of the street.
While admitting they had overstayed the allocated time, neither saw a ticket on the windscreen.
Thinking it a lucky break, the family drove to Town Beach for a swim.
Still no parking ticket.
After 4pm, the family took a trip to Settlement City and shopped around for a while.
About 4.50pm, they returned to the car and discovered that dreaded yellow envelope had been slipped under the windscreen wipers.
“Was the parking ranger preying on me?” Mrs Balough scoffed in disgust.
According to the ticket, the offence occurred some time between 1.22pm and 2.22pm that day.
The Port Macquarie-Hastings Council stated Settlement City was not patrolled by parking rangers, therefore the ticket could only have been placed on the car at the time of the overstay.
The council suggested the “driver has simply not seen the ticket”.
Mrs Balogh responded to this explanation saying: “I’m not stupid. I would have seen the ticket if it was there hours before I found it on my windscreen.”
Mrs Balogh has issued a complaint to the council in relation to the $99 fine.
“I don’t have a problem paying a fine. It’s a matter of principle and I feel my privacy has been invaded,” she said.
The family believe parking signage is difficult to see, confusing and lacked consistency.
“Why is there a one hour zone right next to a quarter hour zone? It doesn’t make sense,” Mrs Balogh said of parking in front of the Glasshouse.
They holidayed in our town five years ago.
Mrs Balogh said Port Macquarie’s parking system inhibited local businesses and could deter tourists.