Thu Sep 27, 2012, 08:41 AM
Sherman A1 (15,023 posts)
St. Louis County voters may be asked to decide on banning speed cameras
ST. LOUIS COUNTY • A quiet movement to let voters decide whether to ban most speed enforcement cameras in St. Louis County — including inside municipalities — is itself picking up speed.
The idea appears to have started with county Police Chief Tim Fitch. In an internal memo dated Aug. 29, he asked legal counsel whether County Council members could propose such a ballot initiative.
Fitch proposes continuing to allow cameras only in active school and construction zones.
Should the measure play out as it has in similar elections elsewhere across the country, companies providing speed camera service will lobby lawmakers, but the voters likely will support a ban anyway.
The list of lobbyists for camera companies operating in the St. Louis area reads like a who's who of Democratic powerhouses, holding the purse strings to campaign funds. And St. Louis County has a Democratic majority on its council.
But that doesn't seem to deter council Chairman Mike O'Mara, D-Florissant, who said he would support Fitch's request.
"I respect his opinion as the top law enforcement person in St. Louis County," O'Mara said in an interview this week. "And like him, I don't like speed cameras that are only being used as money grabs."
However, County Executive Charlie A. Dooley was lukewarm Wednesday, saying he would rather see the issue addressed at the state level.
"I'm not sure the county would have jurisdiction over municipal issues like this," Dooley said. "I understand where the chief is coming from, but I'm hesitant about the legality of interjecting the county into these affairs."
County Counselor Pat Redington, who works for Dooley, said Wednesday that Fitch's inquiry is "under review." She said the soonest it could go before voters is April.
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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)
Thu Sep 27, 2012, 08:45 AM
oswaldactedalone (1,280 posts)
2. We got rid of that stupid nonsense
in North Carolina 10 years ago or so. The money raised was to be used for schools but some enterprising person found wording that banned the state from raising money for schools this way and the courts agreed.
Since then, the lottery has come to NC so the schools didn't miss the "speed camera" funds.