A Day’s Work: Matt Gallucci

Matt Gallucci

Matt Gallucci

On the face of it, Matt Gallucci has one of the village’s least desirable jobs — he’s the New Paltz parking enforcement officer. You know, the meter man, the guy who writes tickets if you’ve overstayed your welcome (or time) at any particular meter in his jurisdiction; the guy you may want to argue with as he begins to write down your plate number as you claim: “I was just coming out to put some money in the meter.” Well, Gallucci has heard it all — and then some — in the eleven years since he started on the job part-time (moving to full-time six years ago), and guess what? The New Rochelle native will actually listen to you. Gallucci is, if anything, fair and gregarious to a fault. He likes people.

After graduating Fordham with a BA in sociology, Gallucci went to work for awhile in group homes. He then followed the family business (his father worked for a lumber company in the Bronx) and worked for a lumber wholesaler in Montgomery for 14 years, but the company folded and he found himself unemployed.

“I needed a job, it was difficult times and I was dependable,” says Gallucci, who then had the part-time offer from the village. Once it became full-time his duties were expanded to not only monitoring the meters in the village, but also checking side streets for abandoned cars, cars blocking driveways. “I call the police if it’s important, but mainly I’m there to make sure the village and state laws are followed, so residents will know that things are enforced…but I’m not the police,” says Gallucci. “I don’t have that authority. My attitude is to feel out a situation, I’m not looking for confrontations out there. But if a meter has expired, it’s expired. If there are extenuating circumstances, I’ll try to be reasonable, but there has to be some kind of proof of what they’re telling me.”


Gallucci understands the difficulties of parking in the village, especially on weekends when the town is overrun by “touristas.” “So I do understand the problem, lack of adequate parking, but the reason for metering is to keep spaces available in town.” And he mentions a couple of alternatives like the Plattekill lot, “which used to be free, but is now metered and usually is just one-half to three-quarters full during the week. And behind Village Hall, where there are 15-20 spaces available for a fee…but there is always talk of a parking garage, or maybe stickers for residents,” says Gallucci. Alternate-side-of-the-street parking could also change the parking dynamics in town, as the non-college side of Main Street is alternate-side parking and the college side is not. “We go with a 24-hour policy of checking cars on side streets to keep the streets free for emergency vehicles and have a snow ordinance for cars blocking driveways, so yes, I’m the collection guy,” laughs Gallucci, “but the job is also one of enforcement. I love being out and about, talking with people, helping people, even if there are a few complaints and nasty letters once in awhile about our parking policies. It goes with the job. And I love my job.”

That he does, as anyone who sees Gallucci wind his way along Main Street checking meters and saying hello to all and sundry.

So…if you see Gallucci in his grey-green uniform about to write a ticket for an expired meter, just think…there’s a guy just doing his job. And if you get a chance to talk with him, you’ll think…there’s a really nice guy just doing his job.

There are 2 comments

  1. Robert G Marcotte

    I think it is a total insult to the taxpayers of new paltz to be issued parking or minor moving violation tickets. The town police, college cops and trooters have eyes on you 24/7, just waiting to “steal your lunch money”. It is ridiculous!

  2. Paul Chauvet

    I’ve gotten a parking ticket or two myself downtown, due to my own fault of not putting enough money in the meter, not anyone else’s fault. Even with that, I’ve met and talked with Mr. Gallucci a number of times. He’s a great public servant doing his job and always friendly when you talk to him.

    Parking enforcement is absolutely necessary. Without it – people take parking spaces in downtown areas for all-day, or many hours. This makes it far harder for people to make trips downtown for business, lunch, etc.

    As for ‘minor moving violation tickets’ as the previous poster mentioned, I’d love to know what you see as a minor moving violation. Failure to signal? People who don’t signal when they are turning are a danger to those around them – especially cyclists. Speeding? I’ve never heard of someone in New Paltz getting something like doing 34 in a 30 zone, but I suppose its possible. If you think going 40 or more in a 30 is a ‘minor’ violation though, well we’ll have to disagree on that.

    If you think talking on a cell phone is a minor violation that shouldn’t be enforced, then you’re just crazy. I see people doing that all the time and their driving is definitely impaired. Just watch people turning left onto S. Manheim from Main Street while on their phones. They make that turn far too slowly, far too widely, and that’s just one example.

    I’ve never found our local police (or University Police) to be overzealous in their actions – not by far.

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