City Ends Red Light Camera Program Due to "Financial Loss"
by Ashley Murphy
Monday, February 8, 2010
Karen Stanley of the United States Census Bureau was present for the City Council's work session today, updating everyone about census information and why it is so important. She stated that several census workers will be out soon, going door-to-door collecting census information from those who were unable to go to a local office or fill out forms beforehand.
Stanley made aware, that census workers will be identified by a badge stating that they are with the United States Census Bureau. They will also be caring a bag with print similar to their badge and will hand a privacy notice over upon first arriving. Stanley also pressed that no census worker will ever ask for social security numbers or banking information and to never give out such information. It's time to start gathering census statistics and Stanley wanted to make these factors known to everyone.
The first order of business for the City Council's regular voting session was to have Mayor Tom Rowland swear in a new police officer. Officer Walter DeWitt officially became a Cleveland City Police Officer after reading his Oath of Office.
Councilman Richard Banks commended Police Chief Wes Snyder and the whole department for their quick response time. It takes an average of 7.2 minutes for a cruiser to respond to a call. In addition, he thanked the police department for helping to bring Cleveland's crime rate down 21% from last year's rate.
Gloria Malone of the City of Cleveland gave a presentation regarding sanitation fees for city residents. In 2009, a new contracted went into effect that cost home and business owners a monthly fee of $7.04 and many living in apartment buildings were only paying $1.97 for their waste removal. The idea of this presentation was to propose to the City Council a rate change. The change would equalize sanitation fees across the city and reduce the $7.04 fee to $6.95 for everyone receiving waste pick-up.
The council unanimously voted for the change.
Traffipax, the company whom the City of Cleveland was in a contract with for the red light camera systems currently in place, sent a letter to City Manager Janice Casteel notifying the city of a termination of agreement. The 5 sites which the cameras are currently located are not producing enough money. Traffipax called it a "financial loss" and are planning to have all 5 systems decommissioned by March 31, 2010.
The council took a vote to discontinue the red light camera program, and the vote was a unanimous 'yes' across the board.
The council also wished to propose a resolution recognizing the Bradley Central and Cleveland High School wrestling programs.
Both teams have made multiple appearances in the State Championships and most recently placed 1st and 2nd in the state at the recent match over the weekend in Franklin, TN.
The City Council will meet again on February 22, 2010 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the City Council Room of the Cleveland Municipal Building.