Spokane Mayor Jack Geraghty doesn’t care that it’s mostly a publicity stunt. He’ll take the money and grin.
Two radio disc jockeys Monday night handed Geraghty a $1,727 check to pay off their parking ticket, plus 88 other tickets of station listeners.
Radio stations look for events of that sort to generate publicity and possibly better ratings.
City Council members take part in such stunts for other reasons. “This is a way to have a little fun,” said Geraghty before the council’s regular Monday meeting.
It’s also the council’s chance to play the fall guy for Dave Sposito and Ken Hopkins, KZZU’s “Breakfast Boys” and two recent recipients of a parking ticket outside City Hall.
About a week ago they drove downtown to deliver doughnuts to city workers, part of a routine they’ve created of handing out treats for loyal listeners.
Back outside, they found a ticket and a stone-faced ticket-writer who refused to give them a break.
The next time on the air, they complained about the ticket and then offered to help others with the same problem.
The station offered to pay off tickets brought to the radio station by listeners. In three hours Sposito and Hopkins saw about 100 tickets come through the door.
They also got a request from management to quit at that point, not run the offer another two days as first planned.
“Our general manager said it was a good idea. But he asked us not to go over $2,000,” said Sposito.
In addition Spokane city tickets, the station is paying for about a dozen other tickets issued by nearby cities or colleges.
It won’t cough up the fee for three tickets brought by people who were ticketed for parking in disabled driver spaces.
“We told people on the air, if you get that kind of ticket, you deserve to pay for it,” Sposito added.
Most of the money coming from the station winds up in the city’s operating budget, Geraghty pointed out.
The city’s glad to get it, but he’s not doing handstands over the station’s generosity.
“This is money we would have got one way or another. Somebody would have had to pay it,” he said.