It would have been easier if T. Milton Street had paid his outstanding traffic tickets back in 1995.
But better late than never.
Yesterday a laid-back Street, 67, stood in front of Municipal Court Judge Steven M. Petrillo in Pennsauken and pleaded guilty to three traffic citations dating back to Oct. 20, 1995: driving without a valid license, driving without proof of insurance, and disregarding a traffic signal.
"I didn't want to go to trial," Street said after the morning hearing at which dozens of fellow motorists had their day in court. "I wanted to get it out of the way."
Petrillo dismissed the charge of driving without a seatbelt, and downgraded two of the charges.
Street's fines totaled $667 and he went on a payment plan with the court, said Court Director Freida Virnelli. He paid $337 yesterday and he'll pay the court $50 per month until the remaining balance ($330) is paid, Virnelli said.
Street, who won a court ruling on Monday allowing him to run for Philadelphia City Council at-large, was arrested in February by Moorestown police at the 7-Eleven at Camden and Lenola roads in Burlington County. He was wanted on two warrants, one from Moorestown and one from Pennsauken.
Street paid fines totaling $678 in Moorestown last month, and yesterday it was Pennsauken's turn.
While waiting to pay up in Pennsauken, Street talked about his three-point campaign platform ("prevent crime, stop killers and provide jobs") and mayoral candidate Tom Knox, who seems to have replaced mayoral candidate Michael Nutter as Street's favorite target.
He disputed Knox's assertion that he can add 1,000 new officers to the city police force. Street claims it would cost the city $600 million to hire that many cops, each hire at a cost of $60,000 in wages and benefits.
"No, Tom Knox is lying," he said. If "he knows how to fund it, tell us how you're going to fund it. Where are you going to get the money, Tommy?"
Street said he'll protest Monday outside Knox's headquarters, though he doesn't know at which one of the three offices he'll stage his protest.
When asked to comment on Street's remarks, Knox's press secretary, Susan Madrak, said, "We just don't comment on anything involving Milton Street."