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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Oregon Governor Kulongoski to sign bills reining in predatory patrol towing

On Monday, June 25, Governor Ted Kulongoski will sign Senate Bill 116 and Senate Bill 431 into law in his ceremonial office.

Both bills passed the House and Senate on votes that were unanimous, enthusiastic, and even gleeful.

Patrol towers, we learned, are pariahs even in their own industry.

Most towers “just say no” to patrol towing, but the few that do engage in the practice have built a business model in Oregon that is flatly illegal in other states, including California and Washington.

In the absence of regulations, Oregon patrol towers allied themselves with some property owners to create what in effect are private fiefdoms, where tow truck drivers working on commission make all of the judgment calls, where the towing companies have the power to impound vehicles, levy charges against those vehicles and assess their value at auction, and where absentee landlords refuse to accept responsibility for the wrongful practices, outrageous pricing and thuglike behavior that they permit their towing contractors to engage in on their private property.

Change is gonna come; in fact, change is HERE!

One of the key indicators of the changes on their way will be watching the numbers drop at Hacienda CDC’s properties in NE Portland.

Over the past two years, Hacienda’s patrol towers racked up more than 300 tows from their 328 or so apartment units alone, a staggering number compared to other apartment complexes in the same neighborhoods.

Hacienda CDC’s leadership continues to claim that they know nothing about the actions of “an independent entity’s towing” practices on Hacienda’s properties, and wouldn’t be responsible even if they did know. And they sure don’t want to know.

This adds up to negligence in my book.

More on this later.

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