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Letters to the editor published Jan. 6, 2010
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Questions citations

Editor, Ceres Courier,

The Ceres Police Department is attempting to pit neighbor against neighbor on my court. I live on a court that has a total of seven houses. Each of my neighbors owns three or more cars. I own four cars at this time myself. We have lived in this house for about 12 years. In all these years everyone, my neighbors and my family included, have parked our cars in a manner that is accommodating and respectful to all involved. On Dec. 29, 2009, at 4:10 a.m. the Ceres Police Department came on my court and ticketed my truck and two of my neighbor's vehicles for parking in front of their own homes. The ticket states that my vehicle must be parked parallel with both the front and the back tires within 18 inches of the curb. This is a small court. All the neighbors agree that it is in their best interest to park their vehicles in front of their own homes. By parking parallel, we are forced to park in front of our neighbors homes and there is still not enough room, forcing some of our cars around the corner on the adjacent streets.

Please understand that we've all parked with our vehicles facing our houses for years and years. All the neighbors are in agreement that this is the way it should be and we've never had a problem. We are responsible and respectful to one another and look out for one another's property. It is now a major inconvenience. We now must vie for curb space. Is there a reason for this? We are in a residential area. Is it about the money? I'm having trouble understanding why this is an issue now. Why would the Ceres Police Department be out issuing parking tickets at 4 a.m. on a weekday morning in my quiet neighborhood? I have a hard time believing that this is a safety issue. I'm not sure what this is about. Please explain it to me.

Martin Lomeli,


(Editor's note: Chief of Police Art deWerk issued a letter to those who were cited. It noted that the citations issued for parking perpendicular to the curb have decided to dismiss them "in the interest of justice." He also stated that "This is not to say that you were not in violation of the parking law, but given the fact that you live in a court with severely limited parking availability, it only seems fair to dismiss the ticket." He also told residents on Wann Court that enforcement will start with a warning that they should comply with the law by parking their cars withing 18 inches of the curb. If the Police Department receives complaints, or, when a safety employee deems a certain location to be endangered by [illegal] perpendicular parking, the vehicle may be subject to a citation. DeWerk said the main problem with not parking parallel in courts, particularly, is that fire trucks cannot move freely through those areas during emergencies. "If a court becomes so congested with perpendicular parking as to create a problem for emergency crews, it may require enforcement action," he said.)

Letters to the editor will be considered for publication but must be signed with the author's name, address and telephone number. Letters should contain 250 words or less and be void of libelous statements. Letters may be sent to The Ceres Courier, P.O. Box 7, Ceres, CA 95307, or emailed to