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Don't Get Me Wrong

Councilman Todd Huff is still opposed to speed cameras but that's not the issue before the council on Tuesday.

 

have gotten Councilman Todd Huff into dutch with some of his constituents despite the fact that he said then, as now, that he opposes the traffic control devices.

"I haven't changed my view point on the cameras one bit," Huff said. "But I can't fight them any more. I just want to make sure that no general fund money, no taxpayer money funds that program. I want to make sure the program is not upside down."

The comment drew a lot emails from angry constituents who oppose the cameras and see them as a money grab for the county, said Huff, a Timonium resident.

The councilman said messages took him to task for seemingly switching his position on the cameras.

Huff, along with fellow Republican David Marks, a Perry Hall resident, were the only two council members to vote against the expansion of the county's speed camera program.

The council will hold a hearing on a new contract with ACS State and Local Solutions that will add .

Huff said he still opposes the use of speed cameras. His focus at the hearing Tuesday will be slightly different.

"I exhausted all reasonable possibilities to fight against the cameras in 2011," Huff said. "My goal now is to make sure the citizens of Baltimore County are protected financially. That is what the work session is for on Tuesday. The only thing we can scrutinize this week is the contract."

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K Blue January 09, 2012 at 01:56 PM
I believe that Councilman Huff is correct in his focus. The camera program was debated and approved. Any real opportunity to dismantle the program lies in the next election for County Council members or the lack of demonstrable data that the program is effective is reducing speeding. The questions before the Council now are whether the contract is fair and reasonable to the County, whether the bidding process was fair and reasonable, whether the contract presents little risk to the County, whether the contract length is appropriate or prudent, whether the proposed additional 14 cameras are warranted by the data presented by the Chief, what additional personnel will need to be added for the additional cameras, what the fixed costs are to the County, and whether the actual costs to the County to implement the program as is plus the additional cameras will exceed (or are projected to exceed) the amount of monies collected by the County through collected ticket monies. I would much prefer that the councilmembers probe into the details of this contract, ask the important questions, and perhaps offer conditions that the administration be required to present data to the Council every 6 months to a year to make sure that the program is still effective in slowing speeders and cost-effective than to have the members who voted against the cameras last year just vote no. To just vote no to the contract is a disservice to their constituents and an easy out.
Bart January 09, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Councilpersons Huff, Almond, and Marks are doing the right thing in studying the Camera system. All angles of the issue must be studied, as K Blue described. To unilaterally end the program would be a disservice to those citizens who want the cameras, and thgere are a lot of them.
K Blue January 09, 2012 at 03:07 PM
I am no fan of these cameras for a host of reasons, but the vote on the expansion of this program was last year and the program was expanded. The councilmembers need to focus on the contract itself now and particularly, whether the proposed expansion of 14 cameras within a few months up to a maximum of 18 after that is warranted by the data and the finances under the new contract.

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