Voters may decide if Whittier Police can write parking tickets in Girdwood

Published: Dec. 5, 2017 at 7:55 PM AKST
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Anchorage Police and Whittier Police don't give out parking tickets in Girdwood.

Tuesday evening, the Anchorage assembly introduced an ordinance that could change that. The ordinance would ask voters to change the city charter, which would then clear the way for voters to decide if parking in Girdwood should be enforced by WPD.

Assembly members John Weddleton and Suzanne LeFrance put forward the ordinance. Weddleton says it was a request from Girdwood.

"It just gets too chaotic and there's just no control," Weddleton said, "and once people realize 'oh really I can park on that lawn and no one can do anything,' that's what they do."

Weddleton says the groundwork for the lack of parking authority in Girdwood started back in 2014, because of aggressive parking enforcement in downtown Anchorage by the parking authority. He says at the time, tickets were being given out for everything from an expired registration to parking on private property, which upset many people at the time. So, the city chartered was amended to say that within downtown Anchorage, parking could be enforced by non-sworn officers, but everywhere else had to be patrolled with APD employees.

"It says 'within the municipality, only Anchorage Police Department employees can enforce the parking,'" Weddleton said, "well there was no APD down there (Girdwood). So the intent was really sworn police officers. So this just changes it to any police department so the Whittier police department can now do it."

Anchorage voters would vote on the issue in March of next year.