When York City resident Fred DeSantis got out of the shower in the wee hours of Saturday morning, he looked out the window onto South George Street and saw a gray city vehicle pull up.
Then a man got out and started writing $50 parking tickets, he said.
It was the fourth Saturday of the month — not the third, when there's no parking during street sweeping.
Knowing that, DeSantis threw on shorts and a jacket and went outside to let the worker know.
But the man continued to write tickets, insisting he was right, he said.
"Then I looked at my calendar on my phone again because he had me believing I was wrong," DeSantis said.
Facebook rally: So DeSantis took to Facebook to share his experience.
"When you're not doing something wrong and you get a ticket, you get hot," he said.
Other people who got tickets commiserated, and City Councilman Michael Helfrich saw the post and took action.
Around 11 a.m. Saturday, he said, he cruised around city streets, took pictures of the tickets and sent emails to Mayor Kim Bracey, who voided the tickets and sent out apology letters Monday morning.
"She followed through right away," Helfrich said.
DeSantis was glad the issue was resolved and he didn't have to fight the ticket.
"The city was great through it," he said. "It saved me a trip going to City Hall Monday."
Helfrich said social media allowed the situation to be taken care of swiftly.
"The coolest thing of it was the use of Facebook for something like this," he said.
City response: Between midnight and 2:30 a.m., 143 erroneous street-sweeping tickets were issued to vehicles on almost two dozen city streets, said Cheryl Rascoe, deputy business administrator for the city's parking bureau.
Workers realized the error a couple of hours in before switching to the proper streets to issue fourth-Saturday tickets, she said. They didn't have enough time to go back and collect the incorrect tickets, she said.
The confusion did not affect street sweeping, and streets were not swept erroneously, Rascoe said.
"We sincerely apologize to any citizen or resident that was affected," Rascoe said.
Those who received the wrong tickets don't need to take any action, she said: They will receive letters in the mail explaining the incident, and they need not contact the York City Parking Bureau.
— Reach Mollie Durkin at firstname.lastname@example.org.