County authority extends to courthouse parking spots
It surprised many Islanders two weeks ago to learn that the Dukes County engineer was recently made a deputy sheriff for the purpose of writing parking tickets and that he had ticketed vehicles for the rarely enforced violation of parking with their cars headed in the wrong direction along State Beach.
Dukes County manager Winn Davis defended county engineer Stephen Berlucchi's expanded responsibilities as part of an overall effort to protect the beach's dune grass. But Mr. Berlucchi is not the only county official with the authority to write parking tickets in order to protect county turf.
Mr. Davis and county registrar of deeds Dianne Powers also have ticket books issued by the county manager through the county parking clerk. The county officials are authorized by the Edgartown selectmen to issue parking violations for vehicles parked in any of the reserved parking places adjacent to the Dukes County Courthouse on Main Street.
The parking spots are reserved for court and county officials. While most spaces are reserved from 8 am to 8 pm, some are reserved 24 hours a day, seven days a week including parking spaces for the registrar of deeds, county treasurer , and manager. Court officers may be called on at any hour of the day or night, for example when a police officer requires a search warrant.
Although the offices of the county manager and county treasurer Noreen Flanders are located in the county administration building at the Martha's Vineyard Airport, Mr. Davis and Ms. Flanders also have 24-hour reserved parking spaces.
"We don't use it every day, but when we do go down, especially in the summer, it is important to be able to get to a parking space that we can rely on," said Mr. Davis.