The city of Houston will turn its red-light cameras back on today, Mayor Annise Parker announced after this morning’s City Council meeting.It was always only a question of "when" not "if" they decided to turn them back on. It's tricky work deciding what period of time is sufficient so that the majority of people will forget you're ignoring the stated will of the voters. It's like when your boss tells your group that you're going to have to work evenings and weekends for a while and then immediately announces they'll be out of the office on vacation for the next two weeks. Consider the appeal like your boss' closing statement: 'I'll have my Blackberry with me'.
According to a statement from the mayor’s office, tickets will be issued after a “short period of equipment testing.”
Houston voters approved a referendum to turn off the cameras in November, but a federal judge ruled last month that it had been improperly placed on the ballot, rendering the results invalid. As a result, the city faced a choice to turn the cameras back on or canceling its contract with American Traffic Solutions, which could cost the city $16 million.
I'm sure the city's legal interns are working on that appeal just as hard as your boss is looking over their e-mail while sitting on a deck-chair sipping a Mai-Tai. This outcome was the administration's preference from the moment the lawsuit was filed. Given their track record on other issues, I'm surprised anyone there had the competency to see this through. How much you wanna bet they now divert some funding from trauma centers to some green initiative now that the "money is there" again? I'm placing the odds at 2-1 for.
Ah well, at least the Apple Dumpling Gang is happy. Now that they've had a win can we shutter them and re-deploy the resources to news desks?
Update: Of course they will. After all, why spit in the face of due process without a revenue stream?