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Old 03-11-2013, 11:39 AM   #1
Ozz
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My letter to the editor.. got published

Snowbirds not welcome
Editor:
We have been Plumbers, teachers, librarians, insurance agents, police, parents, and now grandparents.
We got up early, worked hard, raised our children, served proudly in the military, and were responsible folks that built this great country of ours.
We tried to save for that 'some day' so we could reflect on our lives and relax for the first time.
We are called 'Snowbirds', winter visitors, retirees, and sometimes 'sir' by the young men sacking our groceries in town.
We spend our hard-earned money in the towns we visit, buying fuel, groceries, eating out, and gifts for our grandkids. I imagine the shop-keepers do appreciate us, but it hurts when we aren't appreciated here in Arizona, we love it, and come each winter.
We are not an 'ATM' for the cities that may be lacking in funds.
I was stopped in Goodyear, and given a ticket for $165.00 for 'Failure to display a license plate on the rear of the vehicle' even after I explained to the officer that in Missouri, any truck licensed over 18,000# is issued only one plate, and it is to be placed on the front of the truck. He was very rude to me, shouted at me one time, told me something about 'You snowbirds,' it's no wonder people don't like you, give you a bad name, something like that. Goodyear must not like us.
I contacted the Arizona Highway patrol, the officer told me go to court, the Judge will dismiss the charge. He apologized and said it was a bad ticket.
The Missouri State Patrol said if that was the law in Arizona, all the tractor trailers (18 wheelers) would be ticketed, as they only have one license plate.
The tractor is licensed and the trailer licensed separately.
Jim Osbern
Tonopah
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:00 PM   #2
pineranch
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Are you still light $165?
Mike
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:54 PM   #3
Roamingusa
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[quote]Originally posted by Ozz

Snowbirds not welcome
Editor:
We have been Plumbers, teachers, librarians, insurance agents, police, parents, and now grandparents.
We got up early, worked hard, raised our children, served proudly in the military, and were responsible folks that built this great country of ours.
We tried to save for that 'some day' so we could reflect on our lives and relax for the first time.
We are called 'Snowbirds', winter visitors, retirees, and sometimes 'sir' by the young men sacking our groceries in town.
We spend our hard-earned money in the towns we visit, buying fuel, groceries, eating out, and gifts for our grandkids. I imagine the shop-keepers do appreciate us, but it hurts when we aren't appreciated here in Arizona, we love it, and come each winter.
We are not an 'ATM' for the cities that may be lacking in funds.
I was stopped in Goodyear, and given a ticket for $165.00 for 'Failure to display a license plate on the rear of the vehicle' even after I explained to the officer that in Missouri, any truck licensed over 18,000# is issued only one plate, and it is to be placed on the front of the truck. He was very rude to me, shouted at me one time, told me something about 'You snowbirds,' it's no wonder people don't like you, give you a bad name, something like that. Goodyear must not like us.
I contacted the Arizona Highway patrol, the officer told me go to court, the Judge will dismiss the charge. He apologized and said it was a bad ticket.
The Missouri State Patrol said if that was the law in Arizona, all the tractor trailers (18 wheelers) would be ticketed, as they only have one license plate.
The tractor is licensed and the trailer licensed separately.
Jim Osbern
Tonopah

Good job, well written !
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:57 PM   #4
NCFischers
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Good letter. Keep up the fight. I, for one will steer clear of Goodyear and spend my money elsewhere.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:35 PM   #5
Ozz
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Yes Mike, still out the fine. I paid it and am moving on.. Wednesday. Would have had to go to Goodyear... not happening.. to court. We have spent upwards of $1500 since.... not in Goodyear. The only way I can protest.
I sent the letter some time ago to the paper. Surprised it was published.
Acme threads, steel fastener, anodized, Phillips head.. for you Goodyear...
Thanks for the good comments, we are all in this together.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:01 PM   #6
Recumbent
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It would be good to know the name of the officer, we often state they, he/she, name of the company, or officer, but I think people holding these positions and are directly responsible their actions and should be called out. We will be visiting AZ for an extended time soon and have considered the Goodyear area as it is convenient for visiting family, now we will avoid Goodyear except for travels down I10 going to CA.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:35 PM   #7
brenkco
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Good letter Ozz.
I'm heading to the area this weekend for a few weeks of golf and a ballgame or two with my two adult sons. Were staying just north of Goodyear in El Mirage. Over the years, I have felt that I only one vote that really counted, the vote with my wallet. I will not be "voting" in Goodyear.

Ken
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:55 PM   #8
Ozz
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Good points, I actually filed a complaint against the officer, naming his badge number and his name. I contacted the (Vice) Mayor.. as she was also on the board of the Chamber of Commerce. She contacted the Chief of Police there, he was super nice, and that is to his credit. BUT he cleared the officer after an investigation, as it was my word
against his. He called the ticket a 'Good' ticket. So, he was as ill-informed as the officer, so that may be the problem, if it were me, I would have done more of an in-depth check on the actual law. Which the Chief and the officer were not right on. I made 2 calls, and after a total of 15 minutes, cleared the ticket as bad. The Police would have better, and easier channels to go through to get the info on the law. 5 minutes?
Without a Lawyer at consult, I figured the Letter to the editor was the safest way to go. Did not want to have to defend the letter in court.
One has to expect the officer's attitude reflects the local government.
Not the business' there..
But they should pay for the Police's actions. This is the only pressure we can apply to the city.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:47 PM   #9
BusyCarol
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Very nicely written Ozz! Sorry to hear of your frustrations though and if we ever have the opportunity to vote with our wallet we too will be AVOIDING Goodyear AZ! Even though they are the Police there should still be a level of 'customer service' because they are in a public office and represent their city every time they stop someone.

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Old 03-11-2013, 05:11 PM   #10
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Very Well Done Oz!!! You were a lot more PROFESSIONAL than that So-Called Police Officer. Hats off to you brother and we will be sure to steer clear of Goodyear also!

Maybe we should all chip in to help you pay for that ticket!

Scott
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:38 PM   #11
sfretts
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Hi,

I have been following this thread with interest. I am a recently retired cop up in soggy WA state. Had I been the 'cop' in this situation, I would have stopped Oz (he just has that look doesn't he) and once I found his plate was on front would have instructed him to place it on back if staying in the area for awhile.

It is a simple truth that no matter where you are from, you have to follow the rules of the state you are currently visiting.

WA state has a similar law requiring the plate to be on the back. Here is Arizona's law:

28-2354. License plates; attachment; civil penalty
A. A person shall display the license plate or plates as follows:
1. For a motor vehicle, motorcycle, trailer or semitrailer, on the rear.
2. Except as provided in paragraph 3 of this subsection, for a vehicle for which two license plates are issued, the vehicle owner shall display either of the following:
(a) One plate on the rear.
(b) One plate on the front and one plate on the rear.
3. For a vehicle for which two special license plates are issued pursuant to section 28-2409, one plate on the rear of the vehicle and one plate on the operator's wheelchair carrier or wheelchair lift when it is attached to the vehicle.
B. A person shall display all license plates as required by subsection A of this section until their lawful use expires or is canceled or revoked. A person shall maintain each license plate so it is clearly legible. A person shall securely fasten each license plate to the vehicle as follows:
1. To prevent the plate from swinging.
2. At a height of at least twelve inches from the ground to the bottom of the plate.
3. In a position to be clearly visible.
C. A person shall maintain each license plate so that the name of this state at the top of the license plate is not obscured.
D. A peace officer shall not stop or issue a citation to a person operating a motor vehicle on a highway in this state for a violation of subsection C of this section unless the peace officer has reasonable cause to believe there is another alleged violation of a motor vehicle law of this state.
E. If a person violates subsection C of this section, the person is subject to a civil penalty of thirty dollars, except that if a person violates subsection C of this section within twelve months after the date of a prior violation of subsection C of this section, the person is subject to a civil penalty of one hundred dollars.

This was a minor thing but we often see these stops as a money maker. Unfortunately for Oz, he would most likely have lost in court as the law is pretty clear. These types of contacts give our officers a bad name when most do a great job enforcing the laws fairly.

My two cents worth.

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Old 03-11-2013, 07:44 PM   #12
snfexpress
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Sfretts,

Sorry to disagree with you, but Arizona cannot trump the registration laws of Missouri when the vehicle is registered in Missouri.

By instructing Ozz to place his front plate on the rear of his vehicle contrary to Missouri (domestic) law, an officer would be improperly and illegally doing so.

Retired LEO.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:53 PM   #13
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Sorry, I can't agree either and won't be spending any money in Goodyear. My experience in law enforcement with Sheriffs departments in Illinois and kansas was that we respected the laws of other states. If not you would need a special certification to tow our trailers in Canada since up there drivers have to pass a special test. Kansas lighter weight trailers would get tickets in other states where tags were required. States that don't require a special motorcycle designation on your license would have drivers arrested and bikes confiscated in Kansas where a special designation is required. It goes on and on. Having been both a Patrol Supervisor and a Mayor I can tell you that once the officer ran the plate and it was valid he should have had something more important to do, unless his whole reason for being was to generate income from out of state drivers for the City of Goodyear.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:53 AM   #14
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Yep, when I called the Arizona Highway patrol, Phoenix office, the supervisor told me that the ticket should not have been written. He actually apologized, a very nice man. He said that the judge will dismiss the ticket when I go to court. (I am leaving before court date, so we just paid it.) also, the supervisor in Jefferson city at the Missouri highway patrol called it ridiculous for the officer to write me up. He said he should know the law, he went on to say that the tractor, (Tractor-trailer.. 18 wheeler) is issued only one plate on the front,and Goodyear would be busy citing all the trucks coming through the town.
Michael and Dick are correct.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:58 AM   #15
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OZ is the better man for his professionalism during an unfortunate incident.

As he stated the best way to hit Goodyear is it's pocket book and we all know that with these tough financial times they can ill afford lack of revenue (even if they try to generate it illegally).

We can send a clear message by e-mailing them and expressing how due to the unfortunate actions of one over zealous police officer we will not be spending time or money in the town.

Here is a link to the town website where you can e-mail them (upper right corner) with comments.

http://www.ci.goodyear.az.us/index.aspx?NID=2082

Show them how professional we can be and send a clear message that this will not be tolerated.

Les

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Old 03-12-2013, 06:14 AM   #16
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I suggest that we all let Goodyear know that the actions of this police officer will cost them much more than they made on the $165 that Ozz has paid. I suggest that we contact the area Chamber of Commerce, www.southwestvalleychamber.com, and let them know that we will not be spending our money in Goodyear. I suggest the Chamber because their interest is to promote the local economy. A comment to the city website would probably be ignored, since the prime interest of politicians is to get votes in the next election and none of us vote in Goodyear. I would take this a step farther. Many of us participate in more than one RV forum. Spread the word on those other forums that Goodyear, AZ should be boycotted.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:31 AM   #17
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The 'Answer from the Police Chief' thread got 4,150 reads.. so Goodyear should know about that.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:44 AM   #18
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I'm sure they know, Ozz, but how quickly will they forget. A repeat reminder of the error of their ways can't hurt to get their attention, particularly if it's the merchants who are losing money.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:57 AM   #19
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Just sent them this: Just thought I'd let you know. The actions of your police officer ticketing a "snow bird" for having only a front license plate when that's what the state of MO requires will insure that the money we used to spend in Goodyear will now go elsewhere. By the way, the story on our forum now has over 4,100 hits and several pages of comments. Being a former LEO from Kansas I know what a bogus deal this was and like the laws of physics require: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:04 AM   #20
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Good for you Ozz! Very well written letter and in the long run it will have more of an impact. Those same business owners in Goodyear, that rely on Snowbirds and travelers for their income, will read how their customers are being treated and will be concerned when it hits them in the pocketbook. And who will they blame - not OZZ and the other Snowbirds!!! What goes around, comes around!!!
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