It was the moment red light haters had waited for: City Council seemingly agreed with Mayor Kriseman and voted to shut down the program when it reached the break even point.
Mission accomplished...the red light bandits are about to be shuttered.
But are they? Here is the actual motion passed by City Council:
City Council Meeting 3/6/14
New Business: CM Wengay Newton
Agenda item (G-6) Termination of contract with American Traffic Solutions (ATS)
Motion #1 (Newton/Kornell ) Terminate contract with American Traffic Solutions (ATS).
Amendment to Orig. Motion (Nurse/Foster) Request that Administration end contract when city breaks even or by September 30, 2014, whichever comes first.
Roll call: Ayes – Rice, Kornell, Nurse, Newton, Foster, Gerdes
Nays: Dudley, Kennedy
Break even was not defined, costs were not defined and the potential to move the little beasts was not prevented.
Given the past history of the Transportation and Parking Department: withholding information, shortening yellow lights and generally playing, hide the ball under the cup with the statistics, what would lead anyone to believe that they will play straight with the cost numbers?
Perhaps the Mayor does given his comment as reported in Saintpetersblog: “Kriseman said. “I want to thank our Transportation & Parking Staff for their continued due diligence with respect to the safety of our citizens.”
It is hard not to think the Transportation and Parking Department director, assisted by his good friends at ATS, are diligently at work on new plans and proposals to lower those costs or at least hide them so the program can continue.
The Mayor, it seems, continues in a state of denial regarding the integrity of what is now HIS staff and the general effectiveness of the whole red light camera program.
In a conversation with me, I asked the Mayor if moving the cameras to new locations is a consideration should revenue drop he responded, "That is certainly something we would have to consider."
Look for a new and improved red light camera plan offered with concessions and free installs from ATS,new locations with significant but questionable statistics to support the need for a red light cameras and revisions to the program like replacing those cops who are just not approving enough red light violations with lower cost more "diligent" reviewers.
Or Kriseman could do the right thing and just dump the whole red light camera program right now, take care of business over at Transportation and Parking and eliminate the only real negative dogging his administration at this point.