EVERETT, Mass. - Sydney Paskos was supposed to be celebrating her niece's graduation, but instead, she had to shell over some cash.
Paskos was one of 30 drivers who had cars towed during Everett’s high school graduation Wednesday night. When the ceremony at Everett stadium ended, family members and students found their cars at the corner of Victoria and Chelsea Street were gone.
"There was no sign saying private property," Paskos said. "It was supposed to be such a good day and now they have to find their cars.”
The mayor of Everett said he is disgusted and appalled by the decision to enforce a tow away zone during the city’s high school graduation ceremony.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria, Jr. was so upset, he turned to Facebook to vent his frustration.
"I’m disgusted that on such a special night...this insupportable action...ruined the night for so many of our students and their families," the Mayor wrote in a Facebook post. "I’m ashamed of these business owners for their insensitive decision to be so inconsiderate.”
The mayor never identified who was responsible for enforcing the tow away zone. We left several messages with the owner of 433 Broadway. That building and the parking lot is home to a handful of businesses.
"What I would say though is if they don’t want people parking there to make it a little more obvious," Paskos said.
There are two signs warning of a tow-away zone in the area where cars were towed. The signs are posted on the back wall. But from where you enter the lot, they’re a little hard to see. Two moms we spoke with told us on graduation night, cars and trucks were parked against the wall so they couldn’t see the warning.
One family member told us the towing fee was $108, plus a $35 storage fee. That adds up to a 143-dollar mistake.
The owner of Qualey Towing told us he feels bad about what happened, but he feels stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Paskos doesn’t blame the tow company at all.
"Unfortunately, it’s not the tow company's fault. It’s their job to do what they did. But it’s still frustrating," she said.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.