Salt Lake City cites staffing issues in parking ticket revenue loss

Salt Lake City says staffing issues are related to the loss of $1.2 million in parking ticket revenue. (Photo: KUTV)

Now might be the best time to park in downtown Salt Lake City.

Due, in part, to six open parking enforcement positions, city compliance officers are not issuing as many tickets because they don’t have as many boots on the ground to patrol.

“They are issuing less tickets than expected,” said Salt Lake City Council Chair Erin Mendenhall during a budget meeting Tuesday.

At this week’s meeting, Mendenhall explained the projected income from parking citations is far more than the actual income, a difference of almost $4 million to $2.7 million.

“Can we just be much more conservative in our parking ticket revenue projections? Even with the hopeful hiring back of the staff, let’s discontinue this separation between projected and actual, OK?” Mendenhall said with a respectful laugh.

Four officers were fired in January for dismissing parking violations in exchange for free food. Those four positions weren’t the only ones open.

“We actually had three vacancies at the time that whole scandal broke,” said Lisa Shaffer, the director of public services for Salt Lake City.

While the city has hired four new officers, Shaffer said they still hope to close the $1.2 million revenue gap through meter fees or parking tickets.

“We’re trying to activate the city and encourage turnover in our parking spaces downtown,” Shaffer said.

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