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Ask The Mayor
Q. - Why was the issue of red light cameras
not presented to the citizens? Shouldn't we have an opportunity
to vote on whether they should be used, since, after all, they
are installed and maintained with taxpayer money?
Answer - Thanks for giving me the opportunity
to discuss the decision to place red light camera enforcement.
Long ago the Council began to consider the installation of red
light cameras. We heard many complaints about people recklessly
running red lights and Council members were following the successful
programs in the metroplex that were reducing the accident rate.
After much consideration, the Council passed the ordinance to
install the cameras on February 6, 2007.
The issue was not put to a vote by the citizens. In our representative
form of government the representatives (City Councilmen, State
Legislators, Congressmen, etc.) routinely pass ordinances and
laws. Issues are rarely put to a public vote. As far as the City's
business goes, it would be almost impossible for our City to
operate if we had to hold an election to consider every City
We operate under the Texas Open Meetings Act. With very few
exceptions, all meetings of the City Council are open for the
public to observe. Notices of our meetings and the agendas are
posted at City Hall and on the City web site at least 72 hours
before a meeting. The Council normally meets at City Hall on
the first and third Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m.. It would
be great if you would come and observe one of our meetings.
Finally, the installation of the cameras and the program of
operating the cameras will cost the City taxpayers nothing since
this service is provided by a contractor, who is paid out of
the revenue generated.
In some cities, red light cameras have been so effective that
they are being removed or relocated to other dangerous intersections.
Hopefully, this will be the case in Terrell, once drivers get
out of the habit of running red lights.
Hal Richards, Mayor