I don't know John Hoff, and he doesn't know Carrboro. Or he didn't, until we started writing about the situation at Abbey Court Condominiums on Jones Ferry Road.
Hoff blogs about abusive towing nationwide on his blog www.towingutopia.com, and our coverage caught his eye. His write-up is very even handed. He says it's easier to prove abusive towing than to prove that a specific group is being targeted. In Carrboro, the mayor and aldermen say Latinos are the targets. But Hoff says low-income people everywhere are vulnerable to aggressive or predatory towing. In Minneapolis, for example, he says it's the Somalis. (And of course, it's not just the downtrodden that get towed; ask some of the Chapel Hillians who parked in the wrong lot downtown lately.)
We have no evidence that Chandler's Towing has done anything but follow the policy laid out by Tar Heel Companies, the firm that manages the Abbey Court condominiums. But the situation has been escalating -- a man put his baby in the back seat Thursday night to keep his car from getting towed. The Board of Aldermen is scheduling an emergency meeting, possibly Thursday night, to talk about the town's towing rules.
Staff Writer Jesse DeConto is reporting that story today and we'll post it online this afternoon and run something in tomorrow's N&O. In the meantime read Hoff's post about Carrboro here.