Ah yes, the old Boston Parking Ticket Party

By , Staff correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

Like its Revolutionary War predecessor, the Boston Tea Party, the Boston "ticket" party staged here this week was meant to draw attention "to the plight of innocent offenders" -- parking ticket offenders, that is.

A busload of Bostonians, dressed as Minutemen, besieged City Hall with fife and drum protesting $70,000 worth of parking tickets they say they never should have gotten because they never came to the Big Apple by car.

"Minute Man" Dave Maynard, a local Boston disc jockey, brandished what he said was a list of parking violations amounting to $26,000 for John Restuccia -- a Newton, Mass., man who Mr. Maynard claimed only visited New York City once on a bus.

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Another member of the "raid" said he has been socked with a $950 parking ticket tab, and he had never before set foot in New York.

"We didn't pay King George and we're not paying you," Maynard reportedly said as the bus of "rebels" approached City Hall here.

But their reception was almost as cool as the British reaction when colonists dumped tea into Boston Harbor more than 200 years ago. The New York City Transportation Commission says it makes errors on only 1 percent of the tickets issued to Bay State residents.

"People of Boston, you owe us $18 million. You haven't paid it," said Mayor Edward I. Koch." Fork it over."

Granted, a $26,000 tab for a man who had come to New York by Greyhound Bus may be stiff. But the Parking Violations Bureau is expected to review some of these claims of, er, "parking tickets without representation."

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