Ravenswood Sunday Morning Massacre Update: Alderman Schulter Rubs Salt Firmly In Wound
Alderman Gene Schulter released a statement today, addressing the Sunday towing fiasco, after he met with organizers of the Ravenswood Run earlier on Tuesday.
According to Robert Rawls, who works in the 47th Ward office, after meeting with everyone involved with the race, including All Saints Episcopal Church, Fleet Feet Sports, The Mayors Office of Special Events, The Chicago Police, etc., Ald. Schulter felt, according to Rawls, “there was enough notice provided,” to residents and motorists parked along the route.
Here is a copy of his statement that was e-mailed to some of the affected residents.
April 29, 2008
Dear 47th Ward Residents,
I have heard from many of your neighbors who woke on April 27, 2008 to find their cars towed due to the 12th Annual Ravenswood Run. On the morning of April 27, nearly 300 cars parked along the race track were impounded. In response to these concerns, I have spoken directly to the race organizers, All Saint Episcopal Church and Fleet Feet Sports. In addition, I have also spoken to officials from the Mayor’s Office of Special Events and the Chicago Police Department. Reverend Bonnie Perry, the Pastor of All Saints Episcopal Church, has provided me with a letter detailing all of the efforts made by the race organizers to effectively communicate both parking restrictions and alternative parking options to the community. I am satisfied that these efforts, along with the email notices provided by my office, were adequate.
The Ravenswood Run is an incredibly beneficial event in our community that raises funds not only for the Ravenswood Community Services Food Pantry but also the Student Health Centers at both Lakeview and Amundsen High Schools. In addition, the event currently draws thousands into our neighborhood and into stores and restaurants surrounding the course.
Attached you will find a copy of the letter provided to me by Reverend Perry. Should you have any further questions, please feel free to call my office at 773-348-8400.
Thanks and best wishes,
Alderman, 47th Ward
I’m a bit surprised that Ald. Schulter is siding with the race organizers and not his constituency. But then again, maybe I’m not.
Rawls went on to recommend that anyone who got towed should e-mail there name and contact info to the 47th Ward office at: email@example.com.
In addition, Rawls said that towed motorists should call the administrative hearing number on the back of their tow receipt to setup a hearing.
47th Ward office staff also indicated that already a petition of protest by pissed off constituents has been issued to the Ald. Schulter.
Finally, some sort of letter from Rev. Bonnie Perry, the pastor of All Saints Episcopal Church pastor, has been issued. Hard copies are available at the ward office, and supposedly e-mail copies were being sent to anyone who has contacted the ward office.
I do not think there was any ill intention on the part of All Saints Church, or any of the race organizers, or the police or Ald. Schulter, but clearly there was some sort of breakdown. When you have over 300 cars towed after allegedly giving “adequate notice” something went wrong.
Below is one letter that was posted on the 47th Ward website.
Ravenswood Run Parking Restriction Letter
My guess that in some instances, on some streets, adequate notice was NOT given.
If race organizers did their job properly, why did so many cars get towed? How many cars have been towed in past years? If this race has been going on for 12 years, why is there such a fuss about cars being towed this year? This reason is, proper notice was not given on 100% of the route.
With special events like this, where cars, understandably, have to be moved off the street, inevitably people space out or forget, and cars do get towed.
But too many people are relating the same stories and that story is no signs
were posted in some cases along some streets. Just check out some of the comments posted on the WLS-TV website.
Although I am not surprised, I still think it’s hilarious how everyone involved is trying to cover their asses by pointing the finger at some sincerely innocent victims who legitimately didn’t know they needed to move their car.
No one involved even has the guts to apologize. Pretty lame.
And when you do the math, you can kind of see the writing on the wall. If 300 cars were towed by the city at $160 a pop, that comes to nearly $50,000 in revenue for the city. The powers that be in city hall don’t want to return your money to you–even though proper notice wasn’t given.
The Alderman needs to, at the very least, try to identify some of these
streets and issue a form letter backing up the story of these individuals, and give them additional evidence to fight there tow at a hearing.
Wednesday evenings are Ald. Schulter’s Ward Night from 7-9 PM. His offices are located at 4237 N. Lincoln Ave.
I advise that all those people that got towed, respectfully and politely, ask Ald. Schulter to write some sort of form letter on your behalf. Something that will help with your hearing.
But then you also need to quickly request a hearing on your improper tow and FIGHT IT!