Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Name "Cedar Towing" Keeps Coming Up


Flickr.com, "Parking Ticket Make Hulk MAD!"

I'm sure we all experience times when we don't "put 2 and 2 together" right away and we get mad and kick ourselves. That happened to me with a company called Cedar Towing...

I mentioned a while back about how Cedar Towing was the subject of neighborhood concern at the meeting which took place on the West Bank, in a mosque. (Click for link)

Well, just today I was on the blog for "Road Guy" from the Star Tribune, and naturally I was searching for stuff about "towing" (naturally) and I saw an old article from Minnesota Monitor about the city council proposal to cap fees for non-consent towing.

Yes, I saw that article when it first came out, but for some reason I looked it over again and something new jumped out at me. Here is an excerpt:
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Al Garcia, an attorney for Cedar Towing, handed out a list of expenses that go into the magic number, things like fuel, taxes and payroll. But the breakdown was vague enough that it raised more questions from the committee than it answered. Said Council Member Don Samuels: "These figures don't mean anything."

People paying towing fines, as Council Member Paul Ostrow noted during the discussion, aren't "customers" in the traditional sense. When you leave your car where it's not supposed to be, you don't get to comparison shop which tow company hauls it off. So the only real incentive to maintain reasonable rates, it appears, is to avoid being so outlandish that too many angry tow victims call their council members to complain and demand action. And here we are.

Garcia argued the city's rate isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, because private towing companies have more expenses. Private impound lots, for example, are required to be open 24-hours-a-day and need to hold vehicles 45 days before auctioning them off. The city's lot isn't open all day and it can sell unclaimed vehicles after 15 days. Schiff moved to continue the towing discussion after the city can do more research about how private companies' expenses compare to those of the city.
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So who did I notice basically leading the political opposition to making any changes in the current structure? It was CEDAR TOWING, the same company the good folks at the "mosque meeting" were complaining about so pointedly. How is it their name keeps coming up, whether it is accusations of abusive towing practices or opposing reasonable changes?

Also, somebody on the "Road Guy" blog put it quite well. Private impound lots are required to be open 24-hours-a-day? That's news to him! That doesn't fit with his experience at all.

I wonder how many private impound lots are actually following that law? It might be fun to spend a bunch of time and effort to find out!

Oh, by the way...Road Guy's blog is great! It's not just all his Star Tribune columns, but unique content. To make life even sweeter, Road Guy is big into RIDING A BIKE! Who knew?

1 comment:

chris said...

seems like everyone is mad at cedar towing. i think if everyone want to put them out of buisness then they should learn how to read signs. and not abuse private property parking lots. get a clue people