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Monday, January 30, 2023

Two Student Government officials attempted to speak at a City Commission meeting about possible problems in a recently passed ordinance on towing regulations.

Jason Lutin, a law student and former SG official, also wished to speak to the commission on Monday.

Lutin, Student Body President Ryan Moseley and SG External Affairs Director David Drescher tried to discuss towing issues during a special meeting of City Commission.

Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan referred them to the Public Safety Committee meeting, which will take place later this week. The ordinance passed unanimously by City Commission states that towing companies must take a picture of the towing infraction for records.

Companies must also accept credit cards, debit cards and cash, according to the ordinance, which was passed in July.

Lutin and Moseley said they have had towing problems in the past.

Moseley said he dealt with Elite Towing about two weeks ago.

They tried to charge him ,45 to see the picture of his towing infraction, he said.

Moseley said their credit card machine was also out of service.

"If I have problems, I wonder what other students have," Moseley said.

Lutin said he also had his car towed about two weeks ago. Lutin said he was unsure if Elite Towing or Ultimate Towing towed his car.

He said the towing company denied him permission when he asked to see the picture.

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"The problem is that these tow companies have found every little loophole," Lutin said.

When he tried to pay, the credit card machine was down, he said. They charged him a service fee when he paid with a debit card, Lutin said.

Another issue the trio raised concern about is the possibility of convicted felons doing trespass towing.

According to the new ordinance, anyone with a felony on record is not allowed to tow for trespass parking. The Commission might try to change that, Moseley said.

Moseley said he encourages students to use Student Legal Services and contact the Gainesville Police Department if they have towing problems.

"Any business should be looking to make themselves more transparent, looking to improve customer service," Moseley said.

"The spirit of the law is not being followed," he said.

Elite Towing nor Ultimate Towing could not be reached for comment by press time.

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