Houston City Council voted to repeal the red light camera ordinance today, and according to a tweet from inside city hall, they have been turned off as of 12:01 PM. Although some argue this brings some finality to the issue, I seriously doubt it.
The contract dispute does continue and I would certainly hope that the naysayers continue to speak out as it is our City tax dollars which could take a hit, depending on settlement negotiations or any other outcome. And somewhere in the process of the contract negotiation a few years ago, it was the red light camera vendor/corporation which thumbed its nose at the people.
As a vendor to the government, and therefore, the people, American Traffic Solutions has a responsibility to support the people’s position in a contract negotiation and not just be in it for the profit. Whether this is codified anywhere is beyond me, but it is common sense if such a company would like to remain a vendor in the future. Actually, that would just be good business to always keep the position of your customers in mind.
I was not a fan of red light cameras, but not because of the usual reasons. 9-11 and the Patriot Act allowed for a whole bunch of paranoia, and the same folks who like to pick and choose whose window to look into, in this case, don’t want to be caught on camera themselves. So, that was not a reason for my opposition.
Mine came more from a mistrust of government vendors and corporations who more often are having more say in how government is run than the people. While the people look for excellence in service, corporations seem to only be looking at their own bottom lines. This whole episode is an example of this. I’m all for companies providing their professional services to our governments, but let’s not get greedy, now.
Obviously, we’re still keeping our attention on this and I hope Mayor Parker and her legal team are able to limit any damage, since she (and now Council) seem to have gone out on a limb for the 53% of the people who voted against red light cameras.
Drive safely! I know I do.