Bureaucratic battle

When I reached 75 years of age I was entitled to a free parking sticker for blue and white sections in Netanya.  So I went to the specific office in the old City Hall downtown and at first they gave me a temporary sticker to put on my car and then eventually I had to go back and collect my permanent sticker.  This had the year of 2015 clearly printed on it. Naturally I parked around Netanya and did not expect to receive parking tickets.

During 2016 and 2017 I started to receive parking tickets of 100 shekels each when I parked in various places.  Being particularly stupid, I assumed this was a mistake, that the parking police had ignored my “old person’s” sticker and that somehow this mistake would be rectified.  After all, why should I have to go to the dreaded parking police and deal with the terrible bureaucracy.  Over time the tickets began to mount up, until I received a registered letter from the City telling me that I owed them 1,500 shekels.  One of these tickets was for NIS 250 for parking on a red and white section, when I was in a frantic hurry and took a chance.

When my daughter found out about my negligence, she insisted that we must take care of this before I left Netanya.  She wrote an explanatory letter to the appropriate office, but we received no reply.  So we arranged to visit this office in the new City Hall on the outskirts of town to deal with the problem and she came as my translator.  When we got there she explained the situation to the clerk, who was very nice and explained that I should have renewed my old-person’s sticker every year, so I was not actually covered for the two years it was not valid.  But, I explained to her that I am an old man and misunderstood the Hebrew when they told me the sticker was “permanent.”  So she directed us to another office in the same building, and there the clerk was very helpful and said that if I renewed the “old person’s” sticker for 2017, they might be able to forgive some of my tickets.

She directed us back to the office in the old City Hall downtown where they deal with these stickers.  There we had to wait while the clerk played with her children who were on vacation.  Then she saw us and told us that she could give me a new sticker for 2017 if I came back with four pieces of paper, copies of my driving license, my car registration, my i.d. card (teudat zehut) that all Israeli citizens carry, and my municipal taxes (arnona) payment, to prove that I lived in Netanya.   I got three of these but I could not find my car registration.  However, upon further searching I found it still inside a blue plastic folder that the city kindly provided, and nearby was a shop that did copies.

So she immediately gave me a sticker for 2017.  The clerk in the previous office said that I could fax a note with a copy of this sticker to them, no need to go back.  A few weeks later I received a call from her and she told me that the case was now being sent to the lawyer who would render a verdict.  Yesterday I received the verdict in the mail, nearly all tickets cancelled (except one on red and white, which I knew were not covered).  Savings for this bureaucratic challenge ca. NIS 1,200.  Worth fighting City Hall!

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One thought on “Bureaucratic battle

  1. So glad that the verdict was in your favor, it is a real miracle, if you believe in such things. Thank goodness persistence and a letter from Miriam did the trick. Hope you are continuing to enjoy your new home. I know you will be dining in a sukkah this year for sure, so with that happy thought, Raymond and I want to wish you all a joyous family Sukkot and Shabbat Shalom.

    Like

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