WARREN - The city is due thousands of dollars in unpaid parking tickets.
Records obtained by the Tribune Chronicle show that past-due tickets account for $12,483 since January 2012, which is about the time the court began switching its software system. Before that, a separate report shows the amount at $94,116.
On top of that, untidy record-keeping may have led to an unknown amount of fines being wiped off the books entirely.
Kimberly Webster, with Warren Parking Systems, puts a ticket on a vehicle parked along North Park Avenue in downtown Warren on Friday.
Tribune Chronicle photos / R. Michael Semple
Soon though, Warren Municipal Court will have a more forceful way to get those who are ticketed to pay their fines.
The municipal court is putting the finishing touches on a new computer system that will let it block repeat offenders from being able to renew their driver's license, among other methods of collecting its money.
The new system should be online by October. That's when the court can begin imposing new ways to force payment of parking ticket fines, like blocking drivers with three or more judgments from being able to renew their license. Other options that will be at the court's disposal include impounding or immobilizing the vehicle.
$10 for a parking ticket
$15 for storing an unlicensed or inoperable vehicle, overtime parking, parking within 10 feet of a fire hydrant and parking in fire lanes on public and private property
$250 for parking in a handicapped space
Parking tickets are $10 if paid within 10 days of receipt. After then, a $15 late fee is added. If there is a default entry, add another $25 and $10 more for the judge's order to default. At the end of the notification process, the ticket is $60, but if it's sent to collection, there is another fee, taking the final amount due to $78.
Source: Warren city
People with the most past- due parking tickets in Warren, according to a Warren Municipal Court report
Aubree Petronelli of Warren - 49 delinquent tickets
Aaron Chine of Warren - 32 delinquent tickets
Angela Wells of Warren - 21 delinquent tickets
Effie Gianoutsos of Warren - 19 delinquent tickets
There are several others with multiple delinquent tickets.
Peggy Scott, clerk of Warren Municipal Court, said once the system is automated, parking enforcement workers on the street will be alerted to vehicles that have three or more judgments and they can proceed with impounding or immobilizing the vehicle.
This is an improvement over the current system where ''they have no way of knowing whether or not the car they are ticketing has three or more judgments against them," Scott wrote in an email.
Some of the bigger non-payers owe hundreds of dollars in fines.
According to a report of past due tickets provided by the court, Aubree Petronelli of Warren has 49 delinquent tickets. She is followed by Aaron Chine of Warren, 32 delinquent tickets; Angela Wells of Warren, 21 delinquent tickets; and Effie Gianoutsos, 19 delinquent tickets.
There are several others with multiple delinquent tickets.
Chine, who lives with Petronelli on the east side of Courthouse Square, said they bought monthly passes to park in the lot run by Best Western Park Hotel when it was the Comfort Inn, and in the first few nights, his vehicle was broken into.
Chine said after other break-ins in the lot, they decided to park on the street. Another option, the Franklin Street parking deck, which has had its own problems with vandalism, wasn't much of an option because of its distance from their home and the late hours they work, Chine said.
''My only options are to rack up parking tickets or get my car broken into,'' said Chine, adding the parking ticket is really the ''lesser of the two evils.''
Street parking, Chine said, lets him keep an eye on his vehicle to make sure its safe. He's also suggested to the administration that it consider a residential parking pass plan that would give people who live in the downtown extended parking.
Wells said the tickets are for a vehicle that is registered to her, but driven by her daughter, who lives in the Trumbull Homes apartment complex. She said her daughter was parking on the street, not in a lot, but still she thinks getting that many tickets where a person lives is ''ridiculous.''
''You have people that park in the grass in front of their house and they don't get tickets,'' Wells said.
Parking tickets are $10 if paid within 10 days of receipt. After, there a $15 late fee is added. If there is a default entry, add another $25 and $10 more for the judges order to default.
At the end of the notification process, the ticket is $60, but if it's sent to collection, there is another fee, taking the final due to $78.
When the Warren Municipal Court changed operating systems, tickets that could be sent to collection were. The others were converted to the new system, Scott said.
But three years earlier, some fines may have been forgiven due to an issue in converting cases when the court took over parking tickets in 2009. Previously, the city had a contract with a company in Michigan that issued the tickets. Warren Redevelopment and Planning Corp. had the monitoring contract.
When the city went in the new direction, Scott said WRAP gave the court a list of delinquent tickets. The court began putting those cases into the system and generating notices to motorists, but the process ''did not get very far along before I pulled the plug,'' Scott wrote in the email. The reason, because of the number of people complaining they had already paid their fine.
''I received so many calls and people coming down here with receipts that this money had already been paid to that Michigan company that I told them that at WRAP I was not going to build any more of these into the system because I could not rely on the data in the report that they gave to me,'' Scott wrote.
Scott said the report was given back to WRAP probably in early 2010. She could not say how much money was in the report.
WRAP director Anthony Iannucci Jr. said ''anything provided to them (the court) was provided to us by the Michigan company.''
By comparison, in Youngstown, clerk of Youngstown Municipal Court Sarah Brown-Clark, said a $10 parking ticket triples after 30 days. The city has collected about $60,000 this year through an amnesty program.
During the amnesty, parking violators were allowed to pay only the $10 fine.
Brown said fine payments have improved since the amnesty because it was made clear that non-payers would be sent to collections.
On the books right now in Youngstown, there are delinquent tickets worth about $880,000.
Most of the tickets that come to court, Brown-Clark said, are from Youngstown State University, St. Elizabeth Health Center and downtown parking.
''A lot of people just park illegally,'' Brown-Clark said. ''Some are meter violations, but a large number are parking illegally.''