Naples talks seasonal law enforcement

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — People in the Town of Naples have said more than once that they don’t want all the signs, flags and banners on the Causeway that would make their town look like Old Orchard Beach.

There is something OOB has that might be appropriate in the heart of the Lake Region — seasonal law enforcement.

It started out with a conversation about a request to ticket vehicles parked overnight on the Causeway.

The discussion during the Naples Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday developed into acknowledging that the town has grown to the point that more law enforcement is required during the summertime.

Selectman Jim Turpin brought up something he had noticed during his almost daily travels across the Causeway.

“Apparently, we don’t have a parking ordinance,” Turpin began.

The area of concern was near the crosswalk by Rick’s Café.

“There is a truck with a jet ski trailer that is parked there, and is parked there too often, chronically,” he said, adding that the truck and trailer create an obstacle for drivers trying to see pedestrians who don’t always look before stepping into traffic.

Turpin said he recently had a discussion about it with Naples Town Manager John Hawley. Turpin suggested to Hawley that the town “Call the sheriff and have him write a ticket.”

“John said we don’t have an ordinance” to ticket people for blocking the line-of-sight near the Causeway crosswalks.

Other selectmen agreed to having seen this rig, as well as a truck that was parked over the weekend in the same spot on the Causeway near Merced’s on Brandy Pond.

“It never moved,” they said.

In addition to issues with illegal, potentially dangerous or overnight parking, problems also arise on the water, begging the question: Are more law enforcement personnel needed in Naples during the summer months?

Selectman Bob Caron II said, “Naples is growing too much on the Causeway. We need seasonal enforcement. We have grown.”

Chairman Jim Grattelo agreed.

“We need a game warden from the Bluesfest through Labor Day — just like Old Orchard Beach — they hire seasonal” law enforcement, Grattelo said.

Caron continued speaking.

“Don’t get me wrong. I love our state police. But, it could be 20 minutes before we get someone,” Caron said.

Grattelo offered a case in point.

“There was something at Moose Landing [Marina]. They said it took 20 to 30 minutes for someone to get there,” he said.

Earlier in the conversation, Selectman Caron said that overnight parking was not permitted.

“We don’t allow overnight parking in the Town of Naples,” Caron said. “But, who is going to enforce it?

“I am pretty sure there is [an ordinance]. There is a sign before you get to the Bay of Naples Condominiums, on a CMP pole, that says, ‘No overnight parking,’ ” he said.

Later, during the meeting, Town Clerk Judy Whynot texted Hawley to let him know “it was in the town property ordinance.”

“All parking spaces will be closed from sunset to sunrise. But, those are state rights-of-ways,” Hawley said.

The problem is that those are state roads so the town’s ordinance does not apply. Plus, as Caron pointed out, if a law is on the book, the town would need extra personnel or a contracted worker to enforce it.

Grattelo provided an example of how the Town of Raymond resolved overnight parking at the State boat launch in that town.

“Just like in Raymond, they passed a local ordinance that you cannot park overnight at the boat launch,” he said.

 

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