Councilman Vincent Gentile is setting his sights on the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), looking to protect small businesses from the alleged secret quota system that the agency uses to issue a slew of tickets. In a press release, Gentile claimed that recent reports of the DCA’s quota system represented a “smoking gun” that needs to be rectified.
Last week, we reported on revelations stemming from an internal DCA’s document that urged employees to “keep numbers high” when it comes to policing small businesses for small violations. These violations, mostly easily correctable, consist of printing errors on receipts or insufficient signage. In the past, Gentile had introduced legislation that allowed businesses a window of time to correct the errors once the fines were issued.
The numbers of tickets issued by the DCA jumped drastically from 10.9 million in 2010 to 24.2 million last year. Gentile was certain that the alleged reports represent a black eye for the agency.
“This is a smoking gun. Plain and simple. How can a small business owner compete when the deck is stacked against them?” Gentile said in the release. “We cannot squeeze small businesses to create revenue for the city. We are chasing small business owners out of this city!”