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Jul 07

Mayor Parker to voters: cameras back on, despite vote

Much as I predicted previously, the mayor has decided to ignore the voters and allow American Traffic Solutions (ATS) to turn the red light cameras back on.

Metro Bus runs a red light

This comes despite the fact that the voters clearly said in November 2010 that they wanted the cameras turned off.  Of course, ATS took days to do so, and was quick to file the federal lawsuit.

Now ATS says they can be back on within hours of the decision, and the city says the tickets will start being mailed as soon as ATS can conclude “testing.” 

I say that any violations are now unenforceable, and that voters should challenge the tickets in court.  The city has filed a challenge to the previous ruling, but the challenge is weak.  That also means that it is unlikely an injunction would be filed to stop the cameras reactivation.

The idea an ordinance cannot be reversed by the voters is preposterous.  The weak 30-day rule the judge cited would never allow an election to happen in that short of time, and therefore should be tossed, since the idea of organizing, collecting and certifying a ballot initiative takes considerably longer than that, plus the costs of a special election makes moving such a ballot initiative out to the next regular election ridiculous.

As far as the termination of contract, there are typically a number of outs.  I suspect the city’s legal team (if the city truly wanted to terminate the contract) could find a legal exit to the contract with considerably reduced penalties.  Just because Mayor White did not include a “convenience” termination clause, doesn’t mean there’s no way out.

Unfortunately, despite all of this, we are probably stuck with the cameras until the end of the contract in 2014.  If the Mayor and City Council survive to 2014, that’s another story…

About the author

Michael Jones

Michael Jones is the founder of On The Spot Communications and On The Spot Blog.

A native of Ottawa, Kansas (approximately 60 miles South-West of Kansas City), he was born in the early 70's and lived most of his early life without traveling far from home.

He has since lived in Lenexa, Kansas (suburb of Kansas City), Houston, Texas, and now resides in Frisco, Texas (north of Dallas, Texas). He has had the experience of traveling to Tokyo, Japan and Tel Aviv, Israel, as well as numerous places around the USA.

A self-professed computer geek, when Michael's not working in his telecommunications job, he enjoys Model Railroading and Paintball.

Michael Jones is the founder of On The Spot Communications and On The Spot Blog.
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  • joeblow1984

    Mayor Porker, just like Obama, a failure and disgrace to the City Of Houston.

    • Marc Zelinka

      Hey bro I got card hoder sercives customer service # 800 945 2000

      • joeblow1984

        thank you, i will be calling them at 3 AM from a spoof line.

      • joeblow1984

        wait a minute that’s CHASE once headed by that globalist Marxist algorist Jaime Dimon who never met a carbon tax he didn’t like.

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