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Vietnam Veteran Amputee Whose Late Mom's Car Was Crushed Asks Council for Towing Firm Audit, Hearing that Includes Citizen Input
Refusing to speak from a wheelchair, the veteran stood on one leg using his right arm to steady himself at the podium.
Thompson asked that a review be conducted of the 48-hour towing ordinance. He stated that his late mom’s near mint condition car had been towed in front of his home. Not having the full amount of funds to redeem the vehicle, he was forced to sign over the title and pay $90 just to get his tools from the vehicle.
Council’s Public Safety Committee recently heard input from towing companies objecting to newly proposed Huntington Police Department requirements for towing venders doing business with the city.
Thompson requested that input be taken from citizens who have had their cars towed. In addition, he requested that prior to doing business with the city, towing companies undergo a ten year audit of “everyone involved in the towing and storage business.”
In a prior letter to council members and other officials, Thompson indicated that “I was deeply hurt because I bought the car for my mom who is now deceased.” The vehicle was was “crushed” by the towing company, who (in his words) declined to wait until the first of the month when he would receive a pension check.
“[An audit} will let us know how many vehicles are still in the storage yard, how many vehicles were sold for scrap, and how many titles were changed and sold,” the veteran wrote.
In the letter which he asked be made part of the record, Thompson stated that the current 48-hour towing ordinance, which requires vehicles to be moved, unfairly targets:
- The elderly
- The disabled
- People who are in the hospital for an extended period
- People with two or more vehicles and use one to go on vacation
- People who are bed-ridden and sick for a long period and rarely use their vehicle
- People who come to visit and do not move their car
His letter, which went to the Governor’s Office, asked “how many cities have such an ordinance. I am also asking why a large towing bill and large storage fees are placed on your vehicle when it gets towed. Many people in the State of West Virginia are on modest, fixed incomes.”
During his address to council, he proposed looking into night lighting in neighborhoods, which cut crime. He indicated that the cost of an APCO light could possibly be shared by many residents on one street. Finally, he suggested that council initiate an education program for citizens on use of fire extinguishers.
Thompson provided each council member and the Mayor with a Veterans Affairs tote and a “support our veterans” armband.
Councilman Pete Gillespie indicated he work look in to several of the issues.