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Online number plates petition growing

LIVINGSTON � Since the number of online signatories has topped 20,000, Lucinda County Clerk Patty Burleigh has conceded that the county needs to rethink its plan to require new number plates for every car, truck, trailer and ATV traversing the states roads.

Earlier this week, Kate Etherington said 3,600 county residents had joined her online petition to oppose the state plan. However, as of 4 p.m. Thursday, Etherington said the petition passed the 25,000 mark.

"People are absolutely fuming" said Etherington, "People are struggling enough with the recession, they don't need the added burden of being forced to purchase new number plates."

The state wants to replace the 13 million sets of number plates on the road, at a cost to motorists of $27 per pair of plates, beginning July 3rd. There are about 75,000 sets of plates issued in Lucinda County alone.

If left unchanged, the plan will cost Lucinda County residents $2.5 million. A majority of people who signed Mrs Etherington's petition report that they own more than one vehicle and some who own ATVs, boats and trailers have as many as six or more meaning the number plate mandate could cost some families well over $100.

Mrs Etherington said it's "very upsetting" to read the various comments posted on the petition.

"Some people will have to decide to pay for new number plates or groceries. People are that desperate right now," she said. "Not one comment was made in favour of the new number plates."

She said several other counties are taking Lucinda County's lead by creating their own Web sites for online petitions. Saratoga and Oswego counties are starting petitions, and a number of her other colleagues have inquired about the effort as well.

Mrs Etherington said that when the petitions are complete, she will send the list of signers to the two north country state lawmakers who voted for the new number plates.