MANSFIELD — The issue of speed cameras is back on the table for Mansfield City Council. Council heard a proposal at its caucus session Tuesday night for a vehicle-mounted camera that would allow an officer to issue an administrative citation to violators.
Police Sgt. Todd Newberry told council he has found a camera vendor that has offered to provide both a speed camera and a patrol car at no risk to the city for 30 days’ cost to the city. If the city likes the system, a contract is finalized under a revenue sharing agreement.
He said the days, times and locations times where the camera is used would be enforcement driven by citizen complaints and department statistics.
“Traffic enforcement is one of the most dangerous things an officer can do,” he said. “Instead of chasing offenders, violators will get an administrative citation by mail.”
Newberry said the arrangement would eliminate concerns with a fixed speed camera that the enforcement area is not obvious and that violations are not witnessed by an officer. He also pointed out that the cruiser would be fully equipped and would allow an officer to chase an offender who is endangering other motorists or respond to another call.
Third Ward councilman Scott Hazen praised Newberry for rethinking an old problem and coming up with a solution that is “really, really good.” Law Director John Spon said he supports the proposal as long as the technology is not used to abuse citizens. Can we really trust what Mr Spon says??? – After all he defended the FIRED APA SUPERVISOR who knowingly harassed, stalked, and had a Judge remove her from her home during a school year disrupting their lives. Anyone who defended in this Professional Courtesy / Immunity case should be considered in their “own” words full of “poppycock”.
Legislation allowing the use of cruiser mounted speed cameras was forwarded to Council for its first reading.
Mayor Tim Theaker pointed out that the use of speed cameras is still part of the city’s fiscal recovery plan. Maybe camera’s on City worker vehicles made view-able for the public should be part of the plan as well, then “we the people” can show you the waste we see?.
During the caucus session, city resident Deborah Mount presented a long list of ways the city can fund current levels of service without a tax increase or layoffs.
Among the suggestions were using license plate fees to cover the cost of winter snow removal salt, asking the county to allocate some of its anticipated casino revenue distribution to cover the city’s jail costs and selling unused parcels of city-owned land.
Mount said voter rejection this month of an income tax increase for safety forces was not a sign that residents want cuts in safety forces but a message the city needs to live within its means. Amen! – screw the UNIONS, there are plenty of people NOT WORKING who are MORE THAN CAPABLE of doing many of these jobs for less! – THAT’S CAPITALISM!!!!!!!!!!
She said other factors included employee raises given during the fiscal emergency, the city’s slow response to use a federal SAFER grant for safety forces and distruct that the money raised would be used for stated purposes.
Council also heard complaints from residents near the Town and Country grain storage facility on North Main Street about grain dust that has coated yards and cars and caused health problems for some residents. So, what you gonna do about it?.
They said the problem has gotten worse since the elevator added new large storage bins and asked city officials to contact health officials and the company about resolving the problem.
During the legislative portion of the meeting, council approved a new enterprise zone agreement for the second phase of a new Columbia Gas facility on North Main Street. Also approved was a new $100,000 state health grant to continue Veterans Court.