Most commonly known for being the “Ticket Man,” safety officer Mark Smith is in charge of making sure the school is safe on the outside. Since 2007, he has seen jumped cars, issued parking tickets and responded to reports of theft. Smith graduated from ETHS in 1981 and his daughter, Jessica, graduated in 2009.
1.How many parking tickets do you give out per day?
On average, I give out about 12 tickets a day.
2. What is the largest amount of tickets you’ve given out in a day?
The most tickets that I have given in one day was about 24 or 25 tickets.
3. Why has safety been so strict on parking tickets this year?
There have been problems in the past between students and staff because of unorganized parking. People were parking everywhere and we even had people who were not part of ETHS parking in the lot. We wanted to make sure there was ample parking for those who bought passes.
4. What’s the strangest excuse that you have heard from a student who has parked illegally in the lot?
One time a student told me his car wouldn’t start, but as I walked away he drove off. Also, a student actually put a mannequin in the car to make it look like someone was in it.
5. What happens when a student doesn’t pay a ticket?
If they have collected more than three tickets then the student will get a boot on their car. Actually, one student had 19 tickets and was forced to pay almost $1,000.
6. Some students believe that you’ve been too strict with your tickets. How do you react to this?
The people with this perception of me are usually the ones who are doing the wrong thing. Most of the time they don’t have a valid parking permit.
7. What is a hobby are you involved in outside of work?
I am an avid Blackhawks fan and I have loved hockey since I was 10 years old.
8. What is the most profound memory that you have as a safety officer?
One time, I did an overnight and heard a door slam on the second floor west hall, so I went to check it, but when I did, no one was there. Another time, I was outside and a woman in a wheelchair rolled up and told me that she predicted that I would have a good life. I never saw her again.