Mayor Daley Wants You!

Private Enforcement Firm Hiring Parking Ticket Writers

Do you enjoy spreading pain and misery to your fellow Chicagoans?

Is orange your favorite color?

Than we have a job for you!

Private Parking Enforcement Officer.

That’s right, a job patrolling the mean streets of Chicago writing Chicago parking tickets.

SERCO, a private firm with a multi-million dollar city contract, has been supplementing the Chicago’s already substantial parking enforcement force with non-union parking enforcement personnel for several years.

Often SERCO people work later evening hours the Department of Revenue doesn’t typically staff.

SERCO also has enforcement contracts with the City Clerk’s office to write city sticker violations and more recently became the official enforcement arm of Chicago Parking Meters, LLC.

If you like to walk a lot, have a high school education and enjoy working a job with “Little creativity and latitude is expected,” then this may be the perfect fit for you.

Here’s the job description.

Patrols assigned areas on foot or in a vehicle to enforce parking regulations/restrictions. Issues written and computer generated parking citations and transfers citation data to centralized system. Requires a high school diploma or its equivalent. Has knowledge of commonly used concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field. Relies on instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job. Little creativity and latitude is expected. Works under general supervision. Typically reports to a supervisor or manager.

The only requirements are a high school education or GED, passing a drug test and perhaps most importantly, “Candidates cannot have unpaid parking tickets to the City.”

Maybe what this job has to offer beyond great job satisfaction is the ability to help Mayor Daley fill his multi-million dollar budget gap one $50 ticket at a time.

And perhaps it is good news at least one industry is hiring during this prolonged recession.

You’d better move fast though, with a pay rate of $8.50 per hour, these jobs will be snapped up quickly.

35 Responses to Mayor Daley Wants You!

  1. So ex-felons are welcome! “Has knowledge of commonly used concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field.” What the heck does this mean? I guess I couldn’t make cut because I don’t understand the job description. If i get hired, can I carry gun since I understand how they work?

  2. Winky says:

    Tix Doc: “Has knowledge of commonly used concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field.” (i.e. “Would you like fries with that?”)

  3. DoR Employee says:

    8.50 per hour is a Fucking Joke.

    SER CO is charging 17 per hour per Ticket Writer. And 25 per hour per SER Co Supervisor.

    And they are charging the City Clerk AND Revenue AND CPM at the SAME TIME.

    If I see Ser Co in my BEAT during my shift….I tell them to get out. Its My Shift and my Department has Priority over your Contract.

    Then I call my Manager and Bitch. They want Us to write in the High Double to Triple digits daily.

    We can’t all be like the HD Squad or Capt. M-Plate.

    I’d suggest a petition to circulate that No Non-City Employee can be Authorized to Enforce by Ticketing any part of the Municipal Code.

    I want 3 shits. I want the Option to work OT for Cash or Comp. Or to say No to an Offer of OT if I so choose.

  4. Greg says:

    DOR -

    Question – would anyone from DOR or a TMA be working on Thanksgiving night at 7:30 pm? Or only Serco?

  5. Winky says:

    DoR: Your Union should be front an center on this issue! It’s obscene that Serco can charge taxpayers nearly double what they pay their employees, but it’s even more galling that your Union would allow this to happen to its membership. Every single one of those Serco positions means that you lose out on more than just overtime. What about career growth and advancement opportunities into supervisory and management roles? The lower the number of front line employees the fewer supervisors and managers.

    The City and Serco both want and encourage your profession to be considered a dead end job by their employees. Like Walmart and McDonalds their bottom line depends on high turnover so they can keep replenishing the ranks with minimum wage and low paid bodies.

    When was the last time the Serco contract with the City was up for competitive bid? Who were the other bidders and what did they bid in comparison to Serco? Why wasn’t Union representation, prevailing wage and living wage not a requirement?

  6. Sargon says:

    Union!!! Tell your Union ?? What about this. Tell the city to cut the Budget and dump Employees, Union, Non-Union, Politically connected, non politically connected, Black, white,yellow,brown,college grad,non college grad, etc,etc,etc………..
    I am a life long resident of this City , I am self employed I am putting 3 of my children thru College. I am not rich I earn an average income and I park my car on the streets of this once great city. I am terrorized every damn day that one of the City goon squad is going ticket me wherever I go. These corrupt city administrators think it is ok to double Triple Quadruple ad infinatum a ticket, if you can afford it or not, not to mention the complete Unconstitutionality of punishing someone more than once for the same crime. All for the sake of supporting a bloated and largely incompetent workforce on the back of the average citizen. Then to add insult to injury sell the Revenue to a Morgan Stanley Fronted Company and allow them to charge what ever they like.
    As I stood in line to pay the City and its henchmen Banksters I could not help but notice the majority of the victims of this money grab were working class people of all races who could ill afford the ransom these pirates have squeezed out of them. So when you worry about Union workers and their rights to be the foot soldiers in the war against the citizens of this once great city be aware that the rest of us could care less who is raping us we just want the crime ended.

  7. And here I was sure SER was on commission. It would be interesting to learn the behind-the-scenes relationship between all the various factions…

  8. BTW Great graphic Geek! Are you selling reproductions? Did you find that in Emanuel’s basement?

  9. Lance Uppercut says:

    I’m firmly convinced that it is/has been illegal for city employees to issue parking tickets for these private meter violations and that you’ll continue to see in influx in the city hiring out more of these private firms.

  10. Dummy says:

    DOR quit talking nonsense…
    @PTG this is a perfect opportunity to get first hand what you bulit on your website. You should apply.

  11. DoR Employee says:

    I’ll take this in Order:

    Greg: Thanksgiving would have been Ser Co and possibly TMA’s on a special detail.

    Winky: What union in Chicago has any balls to tell the Politicians to Stop the Stupid shit? Mine doesn’t. SEIU is a Joke.

    Lance…despite your Opinion, it is not nor has it ever been Illegal for the City to Enforce Municipal Property. One last time this year for the Cheap Seats: The City of Chicago Did NOT SELL the Legal Rights to the Meters. It is a Concessionary Lease. The Concessionaire gets the Money from the pay boxes and is required to maintain and upkeep them. The City gets money from the Tickets (If PEA’s bother to even enforce them anymore).

    Dummy:

    Basic Fact of Contracting and Sub-Contracting….Pay the shlub employees as little as you can get away with, and charge the Client as Much as you can to cover costs/training and make a profit.

  12. Greg says:

    Dor –

    “Greg: Thanksgiving would have been Ser Co and possibly TMA’s on a special detail.”

    Let me ask you this – how do I find out if it is a Serco or TMA that wrote the ticket? The ticket was not on my car – I just got it in the mail, so there is no badge number on it.

    It was Thanksgiving night, and I went to my brothers on Ontario near Orleans. I got out of the car, saw someone with an auto cite writing tickets coming my way. I said I was going up to my brother’s apartment to get a temp permit. The person (I don’t know if it was a male or female because it was freezing that night and they were all bundled up) was obviously in a bad mood because they had to work on a freezing Thanksgiving night. They grumpily said “Hurry up.” I got downstairs with the permit and that person was nowhere in sight, so I assumed they moved on. I put the permit in my window. When I left several hours later there was no ticket on my car. Then I got the notice in the mail a couple of days, and the ticket was written at 7:26 – which is right after I went inside to get the permit.

    Seems to me whoever this is purposely didn’t leave the ticket on the car so I wouldn’t know that night I was written one. I didn’t save the permit because there was no ticket so I assumed I didn’t have any reason to. Sounds like a pissed off ticket writer decided to take it out on me that they had to work on a cold holiday night.

    Without the permit, what chance do I have?

    Also – it’s photo enforced. By looking at the photos, it made me realize something else – the photos are grainy, the color is completely washed out, and there is no indication of the make of car in the photo of my dashboard. What is the proof that the plate photo and the windshield photo are the same car?

  13. DoR Employee says:

    Greg.

    7:26pm?

    Ser Co.

    TMA’s and CPD don’t use Autocites.

  14. DoR Employee says:

    Greg…….

    Call 744-PARK and ask for Francisco or Persons….and BITCH about this.

  15. Greg says:

    DOR – Yes, 7:26 PM.

    Do TMA’s or cops take photos?

    I don’t have the badge number because I have the notice mailed in to me, and not the original ticket. But I am going to request the record of the ticket through the FOIA.

    Do all badge numbers for Serco have some kind of consistent indication in them? And do TMAs?

    In other words, will the badge number tell me for certain who it was written by – Serco of a TMA?

    I just want to be absolutely certain before I complain about anything.

  16. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Greg, DoR,

    I have seen plenty of SERCO people with AutoCites.

    It almost has to be SERCO who wrote it.

    If you want to get more info on the ticket, call 312-744-PARK and give them the ticket number and ask if there are any notations on what agency issued the ticket.

    On AutoCite tickets, there is normally a notation in regards to this.

    For example, PEA issued tickets usually will say something like “Revenue/Ashland”. SERCO issued tickets will say “SERCO”.

    Ask the operator to look for those details. You can also request a copy of the original ticket. Ask the operator to assist you with that or tell you how to do it. Off the top of my head, you may have to make the request in writing.

  17. Greg says:

    Thanks guys. I’ll do that Monday.

    That’s the problem – I don’t have the original ticket, and it’s not mentioned on the mailed notice.

    Would the beginning numbers of the ticket help clarify?

    To be completely honest, I can’t completely certain it was an autocite because they weren’t using it – it was at their side. I just assumed that’s what it was.

    Do TMAs only handwrite tickets?

  18. Greg,
    If the picture is grainy and the car is unrecognizable, then the picture does not meet the standard of proof. Here’s an idea, show the picture to people and see if they can make out the make, color and model of the car and its license plate number. If the picture is supposed to be proof of a certain vehicle then it has to stand on it’s own.

  19. While the parking meter fiasco may be “titled” as a concession, in reality most of us reading will be dead and buried by the time it expires, so it constitutes a sale during the span of our lifetimes. If it had been a good deal done by men of honorable deeds the city wouldn’t have needed it in the first place, toughed it out or burned through the money so fast that they have to raise property taxes in the end result anyway in my opinion. The meter deal is a monument to massive municipal mismanagement and malfeasance.

  20. Jose says:

    Greg…

    TMA’s currently only carry the handwritten Ticket Books like the Police Department.

    PEA’s carry Both the Autocite and Paper Ticket Books.

    Residential Permit Enforcement for Ser Co and PEA’s Require Photos.

    The Doctor is correct. If the photo isn’t a “Good Quality” picture, there is potential for the Admin Hearing Officer to Toss it IF it is contested. Its not 100% that it would be tossed however.

    In this case though…I’m going to do something I don’t normally do here; and give some advice that will raise your Dismissal Chance to about 96%.

    1. Contest in Person. Request an In Person Hearing.

    2. Explain that you told the Parking Enforcement person that you were going inside to get the Temp RPP, and that they told you it was ok.

    3. Do NOT mention if your Hazard Lights were blinking when you left your vehicle, but if you are asked Say Yes.

    4. Point out that if the Ticket had been on the vehicle; you would have not been in this situation as you would have already paid the ticket as it would have clearly been your fault for not having the RPP displayed on your car.

    5. Point out that when you look at the Photos, you can’t identify if it is actually your car or your license plate in the pictures.

    5a. If there are only 2 pictures (Car and Windshield), ask the question; where is the picture of the RPP restriction sign? As by doing research on line you found that 3 pictures are needed to support the violation.

    6. Ask what is the procedure for Filing a Complaint for Improper Issuance of a Violation Notice as it is CITY POLICY to play a Ticket on the Vehicle or into the direct possession of the person being cited.

    Ser Co is a Problem. On Many levels.

    Ser Co I and Ser Co II cause issues daily that are affecting the way Parking Enforcement is conducted by actual PEA’s.

    Parkway violations where the vehicle is only just touching the curb.
    20′ to the Crosswalk violations where there are no Signs or there isn’t Even a Darn Crosswalk.
    City Sticker violations on out of state plated Vehicles.
    Outside of Metered Space on vehicles that are NOT in a Pay Lot.

    The above are examples of what happens when you bring in a Private company to enforce City Municipal Policy and also Give them a Daily Quota.

  21. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Greg,

    DoR just hit it out of the park, as they say. Grand slam!!!

    I don’t believe I could say it better. Just follow his instructions. And I agree, in this case, do it in person.

    There are so many problems with your ticket, that it gives you so many openings to defeat it.

    I can’t see how you lose if you follow DoR’s advice.

    As a side note, the photos rarely help the the motorist. The reason is, photos are not required under the municipal code. So, even if the photos suck, the actual ticket still carries the weight of the evidence supporting the violation. In your case though, because of all the other deficiencies, the city’s crap photos may just be the icing on the cake for dismissal.

  22. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Dummy…

    You’re making the gears in my pea brain spin. Let me think about that. Hmmmmmm…

  23. Greg says:

    Thanks for all the advice.

    I ALWAYS contest in person. Always. And I would say 90 – 95% of my tickets have been dismissed. I think that is part of the key to tickets being dismissed. So we are on the same page as that. And I already requested the hearing.

    As far as the photos – you can make out the plate in the photo. But there is no indication of the make or color of the car in that photo. But it’s the second photo that is unclear. You cannot make out the color or make of the car at all, and there is a reflection of what appears to be Xmas lights in about 1/3 of the windshield. And there is no photo of the sign at all on the ticket notice or online. I wasn’t aware of that – I wonder how many people are found liable just because they didn’t know that.

    It also sounds like its possible this was a PEA, but not likely. Would they have been working in this area on Thanksgiving night? Wouldn’t that be overtime, and something the city wouldn’t be paying for?

    Please clarify #4 – because even if the ticket was on my windshield, it still wouldn’t have been my fault, because I was told it was OK to go get the permit, right? Obviously, if people are using a temp permit, they need a few minutes from the time they park to get the permit from somewhere (usually inside a home or business) and get back to the car.

    Anyway – thanks for all the help.

  24. Lance Uppercut says:

    DoR, are you saying you believe the current parking meter lease/arrangement fully complies with all City Municipal codes as well as the State Constitution?

  25. DoR Employee says:

    Geek…while I’d love to take credit for that post….I’m not Jose.

    Lance. I’m not a Manager or Director or higher level City Official.

    I can’t honestly say one way or the other on the Leases Compliance with the State Constitution or City Code.

    I can only Hope that everything I enforce on a daily basis is a Legal and lawful direction from management. And while I am pretty damn good and research, I don’t know everything.

  26. DoR Employee says:

    And Greg….the Geek is 100% correct.

    Photos are not Required for a ticket.

    The reason we take photos is much simpler.

    Some asshole in Upper Management decided that is was necessary.

  27. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    A few notes.

    First, I hope Jose accepts my apologies for not giving him credit for the GREAT breakdown on how to fight this ticket. Sorry Jose. It was about 3 AM when I read it and I was a bit groggy.

    Greg, as far as #4, it’s not your strongest defense, but it is one that undermines the veracity of the ticket. The ticket is supposed to be on the windshield or handed to the driver. Sometimes a naughty (I’m trying to be generous here) ticket writer won’t adhere to this.

    My overall strategy is to throw anything and everything out there as a defense. Some won’t fly. Others will. I want to give the hearing officer any possible reason to dismiss the ticket. The more you throw out there, the better chances the ALO will find at least one piece of testimony or evidence or the weight of several elements to dismiss.

    If you just put up one defense and the ALO doesn’t buy it, you’re screwed. Plus, the more things you cite as wrong with the ticket, the more the credibility of the ticket dissolves.

    I call it the “everything AND the kitchen sink” defense strategy. And it seems to work…at least for me.

    But also, the muni code on RPP allows 15 minutes of time to park without a valid RPP sticker or guest pass (as long as flashers were on). My guess this was partially written to allow guests of neighbors to have the time to obtain their guest pass.

    The little jerk who didn’t give you the courtesy of walking upstairs and returning with the pass is just being a mean spirited a-hole.

  28. Jose says:

    No worries Geek.

    Remember…that 15 minute grace only works if your Hazards are on (one 15 minute period every 24 hours)

  29. Greg says:

    Thanks everyone!

  30. Winky says:

    DoR:

    “What union in Chicago has any balls to tell the Politicians to Stop the Stupid shit? Mine doesn’t. SEIU is a Joke”

    SEIU a joke? They helped put the President in the White House and most of the politicians in Chicago in office!

    Contact SEIU through your Union Representative first. A petition signed by you and some of your coworkers is a great way to get the message across. Tell them that you and your coworkers want them to take action. State in the petition that inaction will force you to consider another Union like the Teamsters or AFSCME because this issue is that important to you. That will get their attention, and although the chances of that happening are slim to none they will want to avoid the embarrassment.

    How much do you pay in dues every paycheck? Multiply that times the number of parking enforcers. At the very least it will motivate them to earn their keep and get off their asses. I had a somewhat similar situation with my own union CWA turning a blind eye to my bosses contracting out our work overseas. The excuse was that it would be cost prohibitive to hire an overnight shift locally and that in the long run it made them profitable enough for us to keep our jobs locally. The threat was more than implied that any action would cost us our jobs. While our local reps were hesitant to do anything, when the national office got involved it was a different story! We now have the overnight work and two of us were promoted to supervisory positions on the new night shift. That’s what Unions are for!

  31. DoR Employee says:

    Winky…

    Let me amend my comment.

    SEIU in Chicago is a JOKE!

    We don’t have the numbers to Force the Union Reps to have to listen to us. Our Stewards do their best however.

    There are at least 2100 Unit II members in SEIU 73 that the “Bosses” bend over for. And about 150 PEA’s. Let me say it again…We Don’t Have the Numbers to Make them Do anything for us.

    PEA’s average about 26.00 a check for Dues. That’s about 3900.00 a pay period into the Toilet. 54,600 a pay period from the other 2100 members that don’t work for Revenue.

    Sure…Union Membership has some benefits.

    No Quota Required for this job.(Thank god for that)
    No OT available/offered (why pay City Employees OT when you have a Private Contractor to do the job for 8.50 an hour)
    No Comp Time available/offered (why offer City Employees Comp Time work when you have a Private Contractor to do the job for 8.50 an hour on Saturdays/Sundays.)
    No Paid Holidays (thanks to Daley threatening to Layoff 186 crossing guards, 67 detention aides and 40 traffic control aides in 2009).
    100% guaranteed Contract Pay Raises that can’t be with-held for any reason.

  32. Big Jim says:

    GOODBY TMA’s , Here it comes , what everyones been waiting for . They get rid of all TMA’s especially full time , then bring in SERCO with full time people at a measly $8.50 a Hr. AND NO UNION , What a good Mayor for his people. and they still kiss his ass LOL
    Big Jim

  33. Greg says:

    Follow up to my post above about getting the ticket on Thanksgiving night after being told I could go into the building to get a temp permit – it was Serco that wrote the ticket.

    And I have my hearing date.

  34. Capt M-Plate says:

    Big Jim….

    State Law will not allow it. Municipalities can not Contract out Traffic Safety, Legally.

    First accident that occurred in an Intersection with a Non-City Employee would result in lawsuits by everyone involved PLUS SEIU

  35. [...] the Parking Ticket Geek: SERCO, a private firm with a multi-million dollar city contract, has been supplementing the [...]

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