Time to pop another trial balloon: The cameras must come down

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Red-light camera company wants Houston to clear the air – James Pinkerton, Houston Chronicle

Houston Mayor Annise Parker, when asked if the city could afford to break its contract with ATS, said, “We believe that the absolute liability of the city may be capped, but I’m going to wait until we do all the legal analysis, and I have the opportunity to inform council members before I make that announcement.”

City Councilwoman Ann [sic] Clutterbuck said the people’s vote must be respected even though the process was nullified.

“It would be a violation of the will of the people to turn them back on,” Clutterbuck said. “Even though I was a supporter of red light cameras and believe that they save lives, the people have spoken. But there’s no doubt we’ll be owing a lot of money for breach of contract.”

Councilmember Anne Clutterbuck has it right: The people have spoken; the cameras must be turned off.

And yes, it’s probably going to cost the city a decent sum to break the contract. Part of that cost can be attributed to the White Administration, which (as noted previously) removed a more favorable opt-out provision from the deal with ATS in an apparent effort to thwart expected legislation from the state legislature.

MORE: Federal judge overturns public vote in Houston – TheNewspaper.com

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Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX