Mayor Parker changes mind, now says red-light cams must go

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  • Houston red-light cameras may be turned off again – Chris Moran, Houston Chronicle (08/12/2011)

    Houston’s red-light camera vendor said on Friday that Mayor Annise Parker is trying to turn the cameras off again, and it has asked a federal judge to stop her from doing so.

    City Attorney David Feldman confirmed that the mayor is considering turning the cameras off as she prepares a resolution for a City Council vote on Wednesday, but he said Parker has not yet decided what that resolution will say.

    This story didn’t quite feel ready for publication, given the lack of detail. But this part was curious:

    “Now because of politics, they (city officials) have changed their mind. Now I guess the noise from the vocal minority is so loud that they just want it to go away,” [ATS counsel Andy] Taylor said.

    Ah yes, the vocal minority who happened to be the majority who voted to END the red-light camera boondoggle.

  • Mayor will ask for council's OK for red-light cams shutoff – Anita Hassan, Houston Chronicle (08/13/2011)

    With some stern words for the company operating Houston’s red-light cameras, Mayor Annise Parker released a draft of a resolution Saturday to ask for City Council approval to turn off the controversial cameras.

    The resolution, set to go to vote on Wednesday, asks the City Council to litigate the American Traffic Solutions suit to conclusion or to a reasonable settlement. Parker said in a prepared statement on Saturday that the city’s legal team will fight until the cameras are gone for good.

    “I refuse to let (American Traffic Solutions) hold the City of Houston and its taxpayers hostage to an unreasonable demand for millions of dollars,” she said. “ATS should now know that when they walked away from the negotiating table, they started a battle that they won’t win with the citizens of Houston.”

    The resolution also asks that following its passage and approval, City Council also consider repealing the ordinance that allows the use of red-light cameras in the city.

    Substantively, we are pleased that Mayor Annise Parker has finally come around to the right position on red-light cameras. As we noted quite a while ago, no federal judge’s opinion can really change the fact that local voters have expressed their opinion on red-light cameras, and they should go away.

    We applaud Mayor Parker for (finally) making the right decision.

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