"Anytime you get a ticket, it's not good," said Stone.
When Stone and his family emerged from a City Market restaurant over the holidays, they found two $12 tickets on their cars.
"It was because they were parked more than twelve inches from the curb," said Stone.
A city ordinance requires vehicles to park no more than 12 inches from the curb.
"One was 3 inches and one was 6 inches beyond the 12-inch limit," said Stone.
Stone decided to vent his frustrations in a letter to the editor that appeared in a local newspaper. When WRAL contacted the city, the traffic administrator told WRAL that the parking attendants enforce the city's ordinances.
"As a public official, you don't want to hear about these kinds of things," said Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker.
Meeker said he wants to do away with petty ticket writing because it's bad for business downtown.
"Certainly it's irritating to me and the person who gets the ticket," said Meeker.
The city switched parking vendors last August. When downtown construction is factored in, a check of the stats show the ticket police have lightened up.
By the numbers, in August 2005, the tickets handed out dropped by more than half, compared to the year before. Fast-forward to December and the tickets issued declined by almost one-third.
The stats are no conciliation to Stone, who was visiting City Market for the first time.
"We love seeing City Market," said Stone. "It just left a bad taste in our mouth."
The Stone family is appealing those parking violations. There's no word yet on the status.
Meeker told WRAL that along with the new parking vendor, the city now leases two parking decks that are free after dark. There will also be additional parking when Fayetteville Street reopens, to hopefully make downtown more parking-friendly.