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Letters to the Editor published on Feb. 18, 2008
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City failing to enforce truck parking law

Editor, Ceres Courier,

I am writing in about the on-street tow truck parking allowed in Ceres residential neighborhoods. If you have called the Ceres Police Department to inquire or complain about this issue you will be told it is not an illegal activity when in fact it is. Under the city zoning ordinance #18.12.100 it is stated that no commercial uses are allowed and no vehicles over five tons (10,000 lbs) shall park in R-1 zones (single family residential). Under the city municipal code "stopping and parking" #10.08.050 it is stated that the parking of vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or more is prohibited.

Chief deWerk is instructing his staff to overlook the enforcement of these violations and is lobbying the City Council to change the ordinances and codes which are currently being violated to allow the legal parking of any tow truck in residential areas. Mr. deWerk is using response times to emergency calls as his reason for the requested change. I contacted the Modesto Police Department and was informed they have the same restrictions as Ceres which they enforce and don't have issues with delayed response times from towing companies. It should be the responsibility of the tow company owners to stage their vehicles and drivers in compliance with the law while staying within the required times. I am willing to bet that if one company says it can't comply, there will be two standing in line that can. This issue of convenience for the tow company owners should not fall on the backs of the taxpayers for who I believe these laws were written to protect the rights of in the first place.

Question # 1: Is the City Council that you elected going to protect our rights to quiet neighborhoods and leave the ordinances as they are, also demanding that the current laws are enforced by our police chief?

Question # 2: Is our City Council going to bend in favor to the chief's request disrupting our quality of life and reduce home values more than the currently are?

Question # 3: When is it allowed for the chief of police to arbitrarily choose to overlook the enforcement of the laws of our city?

You may be thinking, what is the big deal with tow truck parking? Until you experience the presence of one or more in your neighborhood coming and going all hours of the day and night, air brakes and back-up alarms waking you up from sleep, it would then that you would realize the disruption it has caused to the quiet neighborhood you once knew!

I am only bringing this situation up as you may not otherwise know what goes on in our fair city. You be the judge if the council is looking out for our (tax payers) best interests, the decision they make on this issue we will be telling to whom their loyalty falls.

Robert Hall,


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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 should be sent to: The Ceres Courier, P.O. Box 7, Ceres, CA 95307. Letters may also be emailed to