25th Street Traffic Cameras
Could you please print this letter sent to Mayor Tom Rowland and Members of the Cleveland City Council.
Honorable Mayor Tom Rowland
and Members of the Cleveland City Council,
As a citizen of our fine city I want to say thank you for all you do as an elected official. All to often public service is a thankless job. You do many good things that contribute to our well-being.
I am writing to ask you to reconsider putting the traffic cameras at 25th and Keith Streets as well as the other locations that have been reported.
I believe that this action will put an undue burden on the working people of our community. A local paper published that fifty one percent of our school children are from a home that live off just over $20,000.00 per year. As most families rich or poor will tell you, a traffic ticket issued to any member of the family is traumatic. With our working poor this will impact the family even more harshly. A fifty dollar ticket received by a parent may mean that a kid will not be able to purchase a pair of needed shoes or the family will have to do with less groceries that week when the traffic fine must be paid.
There are those who take the position that those who break the law deserve to pay the ticket. As we are all well aware, the spirit of the traffic laws are written to keep the citizenry safe. The laws are not written to produce income.
A few decades ago throughout our beloved Southland were "fee gabbers" otherwise known as the Justice of the Peace along with their Lieutenants. They made commissions on every ticket that was written. They did very well financially. The State Legislatures of Tennessee and other surrounding states had to step in and break this, "fee grabbing" monopoly up.
Several years ago the State of Tennessee had to once again step in and do away with the Public Service Commission. Then Governor Sundquist stated that the fines levied against the trucks by this group was just another form of taxation.
Someone has stated that we need these cameras for safety considerations. It does not take a cynical person to realize that if there were safety considerations at these intersections our fine Police Chief and Police Department would have already responded with a live officer at the scene during these most unsafe times. As a matter of fact, we would be better served by hiring a couple new officers.
Their presence would be a much greater deterrent to the errant driver than a camera that is hidden thirty feet above the ground.
Further, I believe as these cameras become more pervasive, the Tennessee Legislature will react to the public outcry and will once again outlaw that which has the appearance of "fee gabbing."
I empathize with our elected officials. You have a great responsibility. Most of my fellow citizens believe as I do that we entrusted you to make the right decisions for us as we are about the chores of making a living and living.
Please consider: will the citizens of Cleveland be better off with this new form of taxation or will it inflict just another burden and further the deterioration of our quality of life.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
Don Bird, Cleveland.