Retriever and Sergeant’s Towing BOTH towed my van out of my own driveway.
Both patrol towers claimed it was a mistake, as did the neighbor’s absentee landlord, Hacienda CDC, that hired them to patrol the property next door to my home, but not before Retriever broke my transmission.
Blogolitical Sean documents “Portland’s #1 Predatory Patrol Towing Horror Story” at the link below.
How did I get even?
In 2007, I kicked their asses from one end of the State Capitol to the other and back again with Senate Bill 116 and Senate Bill 431, earning unanimous votes in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle.
I led the workgroup that imposed regulations on the predatory patrol towing “industry” for the first time in the state’s history.
That’s why they are supporting my opponent, Jackie Dingfelder, in this race for Senate District 23.
But I’m not done yet, and you haven’t gotten even with the predatory patrol towers yet, so there is still unfinished business for all of us.
In recent weeks, Retriever made the news when their driver attempted to towjack the car of a lady parked in front of the main post office who had forgotten to display her disabled placard. She stood her ground in front of the tow truck, wouldn’t let the driver get away with it, until enough passersby, the police and television news cameras combined to force Retriever to let her car go.
Sergeants towed a wheelchair-equipped van from in front of McCall’s at Waterfront Park because it didn’t display a special “McCall’s” placard in addition to the disability notices on the vehicle.
Those McCall’s permits are real hard to get, since it’s been closed for more than a year.
The heart of the problem lies in the patrol towing system. Neither Retriever nor Sergeant’s pay their drivers a nickel in wages or benefits. It’s all commission based. That has to end.
The other end of the problem lies with the property owners that hire them (without actually paying anything for the "service"), that authorize predatory practices on their property, like Hacienda CDC, which authorized 155 tows from their 300 or so NE Cully neighborhood apartments in one year alone.
How affordable is that housing, really, when you add in the Tow Factor?
We gave the City of Portland and municipalities all across Oregon the power to change the equation with Senate Bill 116. They have yet to act.
With Senate Bill 431, we gave apartment dwellers new protections, protections for when Mom comes over for dinner and more.
Senate Bill 431 requires towers to post 24 hour notices before towing from private property, unless the vehicle is blocking a fire lane, or for other reasons that make some sense.
Senate Bill 431 bars patrol towers from towing simply because a vehicles tags are expired.
You can bet Retriever and Sergeants are unhappy about that one.
Senate Bill 431 requires landlords to provide each tenant with an actual rate sheet that shows what the costs will be in the event their vehicle is towed from the property, and to provide a new rate sheet whenever the dollar costs change.
Have you seen any of those yet? If you haven’t, your landlord is in violation of Senate Bill 431.
Senate Bill 431 requires patrol towers to post warning signs at every entrance to a parking lot, instead of behind a tree or wherever they can give their drivers an advantage or an excuse to tow.
This is why you see those signs all over the state, at the entrances to parking lots. We got that done with Senate Bill 431.
Cost them tens of thousands of dollars, you can bet on that.
But here we are, in campaign season, and you haven’t gotten even, and the towers and the landlords who authorize the predatory practices are still towjacking vehicles all over town.
I have unfinished business in the Oregon State Capitol, this time as an elected, representing Senate District 23 and its two House Districts, HD 45 and HD 46.
My van’s transmission is still broken. Both the towers and Hacienda CDC say it was a mistake, to trespass on my property like that and steal my vehicle, but none of them were responsible, they say.
Send me to Salem. I can promise you great fun in 2009, with opportunities to put your towing Horror Story on the record, and to participate in ending predatory patrol towing practices in the state of Oregon, once and for all.
Here are the links:
Portland’s #1 Predatory Patrol Towing Horror Story
Sean Cruz for Senate District 23
The Oregonian Editorial Board on Senate District 23:
“Cruz…knows the issues well…”
“Sean Cruz, who has served as (Senator) Gordly's legislative aide and chief of staff for the past five years…is qualified for the job. He knows the issues that are important in the district, and he certainly knows how things get done in the Legislature. Most notably, he persuaded Gordly to push legislation, called ‘Aaron's Law,’ that gives families tools to punish parents for the crime of child abduction. “
Ridenbaugh Press on Senate District 23:
As in many of these primary districts, issues here aren’t distinctly philosophical: The 23rd is a solidly liberal Democratic district, and both contenders fit well within that framework.
But they are insiders of two distinctly different stripes.
Dingfelder, a four-term state representative from this area, would have to be considered the establishment choice, getting the larger share of endorsements and contributions.
But Cruz is not an outsider, either; he is retiring Senator Gordly’s Chief of Staff, is well informed, has her support and the support of her backers.
His campaign has hit rough patches but may also be more interesting to some of the primary voters.
Cruz is edgier; Dingfelder more easy-going. You have to figure the edge is with Dingfelder, but bear in mind that central Portland doesn’t always go the conventional route.