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Mayor Wharton Wants To Hire Revenue Officer To Collect Unpaid Fines

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(Memphis) Maureen Naughton drives downtown a lot and knows the parking dilemma.
You might say she's gotten enough paper reminders.

"I got a ticket with two minutes after (the meter) expired. The person was right there writing the ticket. I was like oh you caught me. Nothing I can do," says Naughton.

She got a ticket for an expired parking meter, something plenty of people parking in Memphis experience.

"Oh I do pay the ticket, yeah. Otherwise they harass you through the mail. It can hit your credit score. There is not really too much recourse. They got me, so you gotta pay it," says Naughton.

The thing is, some people don't pay it and there really hasn't been much of push to get them to - until now.

"We've got to make certain that if you get a ticket in the City of Memphis and you are found guilty, you pay," says Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.

He wants to hire a revenue officer to get back the millions of dollars the city currently misses out on in uncollected fines, for things like red light violators.

They are drivers caught on camera running a red light, but those drivers haven't paid up. The revenue officer's  job will be getting back the lost revenue.

"We've come up with a new parking meter system for  the downtown area. What good does it do to write tickets and nobody collects on them? There are millions of dollars over there right now. There are taxes we are not collecting," Wharton said.

The mayor didn't have to sell the city council hard on this one. As soon as he brought it up this week, council members asked him to move it forward immediately.

Council members are working out the details about filling the position, the pay and when the work will start.

The city council still must give the final green light.