Lack of red light revenue means budget problems

November 9, 2010 12:15:31 PM PST
Now that voters have said they want red light cameras removed, the City of Houston has to find a new way to make up for the revenue from those cameras. Without that money, the city is going to have to find somewhere to come up with nearly $10 million. The city says it will honor the will of the people and the cameras will come down, but it says it needs time to remove them.

The red light cameras are still up and running around the city even after Proposition 3 was shot down by voters last week. Opponents of the red light cameras say the cameras should stop operating on November 15 when the official election results are expected to be certified.

However, the city says they have a contract with the camera vendors and have to give the vendors 120 day notice on November 15 as required by the contract. If that moves forward, then the red light cameras won't come down until March.

"They (the city) can find the funds from anywhere they can find them, however it is illegal and unconstitutional to issue one single citation after November 15," said Randall Kallinen, a red light camera opponent.

"Do I look concerned about a lawsuit?" Houston City Attorney Dave Feldman asked Eyewitness News. "We're ready."

Feldman said long ago no matter which way the Proposition went, he expected to be sued by somebody at some point in time.

As for the drop in revenue, it's a real concern for the city which is already in a budget quagmire. Council members are expected to address that issue later today, so stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for the latest.


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