New York Post
June 4, 2003

NUMBERS SHOW TIX BLITZ A MYTH

From a Bronx man's citation for sitting on a milk crate to a pregnant teen's ticket for resting on the steps of a subway station, authorities are issuing what seems to many New Yorkers like a blizzard of silly summonses.

But city records show most types of tickets are actually on the decline, and City Hall has vehemently disputed allegations that authorities are writing a torrent of tickets to try to close the budget gap.

The uproar "blends into the perception . . . of people being nickel-and-dimed by the city," said Ed Skyler, a spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg.

Part of the ticket turmoil stems from a police union media blitz. The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association claims that beat cops face informal ticket quotas and are being pressured to write more summonses.

"We're concerned about the relationship between the community and the police officers," PBA spokesman Al O'Leary said.

Administration officials acknowledge that police have summons "performance measurements," but accuse the union of whipping up ticket mania to raise its leaders' profiles in re-election campaigns.

"The assertion that the mayor ordered more ticket writing to help close the budget gap is simply a lie," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said yesterday.

Parking tickets are down 17 percent this year and moving violations down 7 percent, according to city records.

Summonses issued by beat cops are up for the year, but are on the same pace as three and four years ago.