Winter brings snow, fines and ill feelings

by Simpsonian Staff

Two weeks ago many Simpson students dusted off their snowy windshields to find a $35 parking ticket from the city of Indianola, which left many us asking, why?

Some cars were only subjected to tickets while others were unlucky enough to have their cars towed only a few hours after receiving the tickets.

Cars were ticketed and towed from the parking lot on the 700th block of Clinton Street, Colonial Housing parking lot near Station Square Apartments and on Howard Street.

The city of Indianola notified Simpson College around 7 a.m. of a citywide snow ordinance, but Simpson didn’t send an e-mail to students until over an hour later and tickets were already being issued.

It seems obvious that Simpson students were targets on Jan. 26 when obnoxious tickets were distributed around campus – in parking lots nonetheless. Many students had a hard time taking the tickets seriously because the ticket had misspelled words. Section 69.10: “No parking during snow emergency.” What happened to the “r”?

The bottom line is it is unrealistic for students to know of a snow ordinance for Indianola before we receive our campus-wide e-mails. Finding tickets on our cars before knowing cars even needed to be moved was definitely a below-the-belt shot.

Not to mention, there needs to be some sort of grace period between receiving a ticket and being towed. Two athletic recruits visiting Simpson were ticketed and towed from Girard Street in a very short amount of time.

There seems to have been failings on both sides of the spectrum. The warning e-mail came over an hour after the ordinance was issued had left students hanging high and dry, and the Indianola Police Department took advantage of unaware students early in the morning.

On top of that, the unwillingness of the Indianola Police Department to elaborate to students why they received tickets when their cars were in parking lots made the ordeal even harder to understand.

The city of Indianola and Simpson College need to do a better job of working together to inform students of snow ordinances and where cars can and cannot be parked. Students ended up paying the price due to poor communication. Literally.