Red-Light Cameras, Nearing Death, May Ironically Be Saved By Well-Intentioned City Councilmember

press conf3.jpg
Photo by Mandy Oaklander
Paul Kubosh and Jolanda Jones held a press conference today.
Tomorrow, city council is holding a rare special session that may ring the death knell for red-light cameras. The to-be proposed ordinance, if passed, would immediately turn off the cameras. But yesterday, councilmember Mike Sullivan proposed an amendment that could kill the entire plot.

The amendment calls for the immediate physical removal of all red-light cameras. Normally, such a move would be applauded by Paul Kubosh, head of Houston Coalition Against Red Light Cameras. But according to a federal judge's order: "The cameras will not be removed during the pendency of the litigation." If Sullivan's amendment is passed, the ordinance will violate the judge's order.

In other words, the ordinance is strong enough as it is, according to Kubosh. Adding an amendment that violates a judge's order is dangerous.

In a press conference in front of his law office, Kubosh and councilmember Jolanda Jones spoke about the amendment. "We're afraid this is more gamesmanship by the mayor," Kubosh said. "We're afraid that somehow, this is another way to keep the cameras off."

Kubosh said that he spoke with Sullivan about the potential backfiring of the amendment, and that Sullivan did not indicate he would pull it.

"I think it's probably well-intentioned, because it appears to do what the citizens overwhelmingly want us to do," said Jones, an adamant opponent of the cameras. Jones is also a lawyer.

"Legally, I believe it's problematic," she said. "You don't ever want to violate an order by the judge. You never want to be hauled into court for contempt."

If the amended ordinance is passed, the city of Houston could face monetary penalties by the judge. "It could cause whatever we do on Friday to be invalid," said Jones. "I don't want to do that."

Kubosh says he won't trust the mayor's goal to remove the cameras until the cameras are off. "I think her ultimate goal is to keep the cameras on," he said. "We'll know for sure tomorrow."


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6 comments
Baytown Redlightcameras
Baytown Redlightcameras

Sullivan is pretty anti camera, what we have to worry about more is Parker's friend Sue Lovell. She is the one that tagged the item saving ATS for another week and will probably tag the repeal item today. She is term limited out so she doesn't care what the people say anymore. She says they need more time, they have had months, time to make the camera go away for good. Lovell is the "camera loving politician of the week" at www.citizensforsaferstreets.co... don't forget you don't have to pay a camera ticket, www.trashyourticket.com

some other tired dog
some other tired dog

Mr. Sullivan also wants to sit in Don Sumners' chair and he'll probably file for that office right after winning reelection to council.  Will he then execute a deal with the city to bar tag renewals for anyone with an unpaid ATS bill?  Inquiring minds want the truth.

tired dog
tired dog

Mr. Sullivan might just be the stalking horse to keep the cams, his amendment a poison pill, or a turd in the punchbowl.

Katy
Katy

Local voters... and... politicians... too... weak...Can't... get... cameras... shut... off...((pant, pant, pant...))

Mr. Blonde
Mr. Blonde

It is clear that the will of the people is for the red light scameras to be not only turned off, but taken down, and removed from Houston.  Governments waste millions of taxpayers dollars every day and this will cost big money, but so what - let the chips fall where they may, and then the voters can see who represented their interests, and who was bought by outside special interests to foist the scameras on the people.

Wes Hightower
Wes Hightower

Notice she's had a week to find out the information she said she needed yet she still tagged it. hmmmm

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