During this week’s Missoula city council meeting the council met to discuss what they decided was an emergency parking situation for the downtown. The debate was over the legality of the new Luke Parking system and the various hubs that are used for payment. Apparently, the new system wasn’t fully squared up with Missoula’s ordinances and an emergency ordinance was passed without the normal public feedback.
"I even asked, well if we just go through the normal process and it takes 44 days is there anything that really causes any problems and they said no, but we cant give tickets during that time which I thought was fine," said Missoula City Councilman Harlan Wells. "It is not the end the world to miss 44 days worth of parking tickets if it meant going through the correct process. Once again I guess I am the 1 of 11 that sees the reason in stuff."
Wells says that the Parking commission has known about this issue for a while, but failed to act until the last minute.
"There is suppose to be two chances for people to come out and give public comment and then there is suppose to be a 30 day pause before the ordinance goes into affect," Wells said. "The parking commission has know for a year that they were going to need to do this and they could have brought it to us at any point and said we would like to start the process now and it would have gone through the normal times, but the parking commission really wants the city council to stay out of their business even though we give them the authority to exist until they want something and then they are like hey we want it now."
Now, many are wondering if the parking tickets that have been handed out since the beginning of the year were legal, and whether or not refunds are possible. KGVO has called the parking commission and left a message concerning past tickets, but has not heard back.