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Kamenetz: Speed Camera Contract Good Deal for the County

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz says contract re-bidding was necessitated by the council lifting the limit on the number of cameras.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said Tuesday that he believes a new speed camera contract before the County Council is a good deal for the county.

Kamenetz made his comments following a news conference in Annapolis where he rolled out his and just hours before the council is to hold its .

"There is no chance that the county can lose money or dip into county funds," Kamenetz said.

currently receives $12,000 per camera per month. Patch reported last year that the county pays the vendor about collected by the county.

In October, Kamenetz, appearing on WYPR, told Dan Rodricks that the contract was .

"No, I don't think we have a good deal," Kamenetz said. "The problem with the contract is we pay a set amount."

Under the proposed contract, ACS would continue to lease cameras to the county but would be paid about $19 per ticket on every fine paid to the county.

The company was not the only bidder. Information about the number and identity of the other companies that bid on the contract was not immediately available. A county spokesman said the other bidders were disqualified—many because they lacked necessary certifications required by state law.

Kamenetz said the new contract, which allows for adding seven new speed cameras and seven new red light cameras by June, takes advantage of a new attorney general's opinion allowing counties to pay contractors a percentage of the fines collected.

He said that the original contract was based on a different opinion that prohibited that practice.

Several council members said they intend to during today's work session.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

M. Sullivan January 10, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Well, it's very nice that Kamenetz is happy. I have to wonder just how much ACS has contributed to his and some of the approving council members "campaign funds". What a good deal for them!
Joan Wood January 10, 2012 at 09:37 PM
I find it interesting that the County Council was not consulted on the new contract and found out about it after the fact.........sounds like more back room politics by Kamenetz and his "buddies" to me. I think the Council was surprised by this new "deal"
lemmy winks January 11, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Strange that the county executive was so forthcoming with a comment on the speed camera issue...when asked about his secret double pension, he told the Sun he had "no comment"....does he think he is getting a "good deal" on the pension? And how troubling is it that the story on that illegal pension broke about a month ago, and the media has not pressed him or his handlers for a comment....seems like the media is more interested in reporting on his "purple Friday" antics and such...sad indeed.
Fact Check January 11, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Lemmy winks is a disgruntled county employee who back the wrong horse.
Lablover January 11, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Fact Check, are you saying it's ok for the county executive to double dip on his pension?
Buck Harmon January 11, 2012 at 02:49 PM
This could get interesting...
Steve January 11, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Ok, so he thinks that extorting money from the citizens through a system that violates the Constitution, which guarantees that someone accused of a crime has the right to face and question their accuser, is good for the county. That is because he is a typical, corrupt politician who is only concerned with his own wealth and power.
ISMELL AFISH January 11, 2012 at 07:53 PM
I AGREE WITH LAB LOVER AND LEMMY WINKS! DOUBLE DIPPING IS WRONG....PLAIN AND SIMPLE. OUR COUNTY EXECUTIVE IS COLLECTING 2 PENSIONS AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO UNLESS SOMEONE PUSHES FOR ANSWERS! HOW ABOUT SOMEONE FROM THE SUNPAPER OR PATCH FORCE THE ISSUE, AND GET A STATEMENT FROM KAMENETZ! IT IS ABSURD THAT HIS ONLY REMARK ON THIS ISSUE WAS "NO COMMENT". EVEN BETTER, CAN ANYONE ADDRESS WHAT I READ ABOUT KEVIN KAMENETZ WHO APPARENTLY "RETIRED" FOR ONLY ONE DAY BEFORE RE-ENROLLING IN THE PENSION PROGRAM TO COLLECT YET A 2ND PENSION....IS THIS LEGAL? WHERE IS THE INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING? PERHAPS THE PATCH, THE SUNPAPER, OR EVEN IN THE INFAMOUS JANE MILLER SHOULD DIG A BIT INTO THIS STORY.
Tim January 11, 2012 at 08:42 PM
I agree that caps lock makes people go blind.
Bart January 11, 2012 at 09:28 PM
I can't read it, myself. Doc says it causes my blood pressure to rise.
Buzz Beeler January 11, 2012 at 10:54 PM
And I would guess you are a happy county employee that backed the right horse. Mr. Kamenets promised more transparency in county government and here is just one of those issues as seen by the Sun Editorial Board. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/breaking/bs-md-co-council-pensions-20111224,0,5402793.story As to the article here are some conflicting statements: ""There is no chance that the county can lose money or dip into county funds," Kamenetz said." Then there is this: "No, I don't think we have a good deal," Kamenetz said. "The problem with the contract is we pay a set amount." This is concerning due to the fact that the county has and is doing business with this company and one would think they would know the details of these contracts: "Information about the number and identity of the other companies that bid on the contract was not immediately available. A county spokesman said the other bidders were disqualified—many because they lacked necessary certifications required by state law." On the bright side there is this from the story: "Several council members said they intend to scrutinize the proposed contract's payment and fee arrangements during today's work session." Those are the "Facts" and you can "Check" them out.
Buck Harmon January 11, 2012 at 11:17 PM
It's actually easier to read the caps....I want to know how this guy is going to be held accountable for these actions...
Eric Martin January 11, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Instead of paying a camera company $19.00 per ticket issued, let's offer our police officers The $19.00 per radar speed ticket issued. I'll bet you'd get a whole lot of officers willing to work their days off. At least the citizens could then confront their accusers.
K Blue January 11, 2012 at 11:24 PM
BB, I have following this contract business. The quote which is attributed to the CE on Rodricks' show ("I don't think we have a good deal") was about the old contract which was negotiated by a prior administration and approved by the Council, on which the CE sat at the time. It appears that the projections underlying that initial contract failed to take account decreasing citation volume and the County got "fleeced" (those are my words) because of the $12,000 fixed rate per camera. The CE's comment about "no chance we can lose money" is about the new contract which, if I understand it correctly, eliminates that $12,000 fixed cost per camera and ties the contractor's percentage entirely to a "per citation fine collected" amount (contractor gets $19 of the $40 fine on speed cameras; and either $29 or $36 on red-light cameras, depending on whether they are new or old). This new contract, if its approved, is much, much better than the old one and will decrease financial risk to the County unless the personnel costs go up. Thing I dont understand is why 14 cameras need to be installed in the next couple months --- i.e., what is so magic about the number 14?
Buzz Beeler January 11, 2012 at 11:42 PM
KBlue, good comment. I can't say a lot but there were some internal questions regarding these contracts that created some issues. That may come out in future articles on this matter. You are very articulate and seem knowledgeable in this matter. My knowledge is limited to the article and it will be a wait and see on the other aspect. We have some major developments coming up on the east side that will call into play some serious issues in the county's involvement. There are a host of issues over the years that have left me scratching my head. The recent appointment of Mrs. Almond as the chairwoman of the council could be significant. There were some telltale signs indicating some interesting times ahead.
K Blue January 11, 2012 at 11:55 PM
BB, thank you for the compliment. Between Patch's reporting and an article in the Sun, I think I understand the terms of the new and the old contract. Sears' article indicates that the contractor gets paid per citation paid; the Sun says per citation issued. I am no fan of these cameras, but the program was approved and to implement it the County needs a contract. The last one was not good for the County. This one appears to be much better, although the length of it gives me some concern unless the cancellation terms are reasonable to the County and without penalty.
Bill Howard January 13, 2012 at 12:04 AM
This is Maryland the money gets spread around.
Bill Howard January 13, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Joan the Council did not get consulted because Kamenentz has 5 Democrats to rubber stamp whatever he wants.
Bill Howard January 13, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Steve, I call it Electronic Fascism.
Bill Howard January 13, 2012 at 12:10 AM
@ISMELL AFISH These double dippers are part of the Ruling Party of Maryland. You as a citizen must play your role. That role is to shut-up, pay all the taxes they ask for, and keep voting for the Ruling Party. OR We can keep fighting the power and be prepared for their abuse.
Paul Amirault January 13, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Good/bad deal is simple to calculate. How many tickets were written and a fifth grader will figure it out for you! Can't the council figure that out?
Joan Wood January 13, 2012 at 02:11 PM
The Sun paper recently did an article on the top ten money earning Lobbyist working in Maryland. With earnings up to and exceeding $1 million. Guess who two on the list work for? Give up? ACS State and Local Solutions..........I think all your questions have been answered, and BTW.........serveral had also worked on staff for Busch. So it's the same old song..........it's not what you know, but who you know if you want to make money.....especially in Maryland politics..........I personally think it's shameful...but then what do I know? I'm not a Democrat.
Buck Harmon January 13, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Now THAT'S interesting....
Buzz Beeler January 13, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Buck, that is more than interesting. Joan, great job on that find! I wonder if that issue was the reason for some inside concern within the administration that caused some problems with these contracts. When this east side story breaks it could cause tremors to Towson and beyond but it falls in line with this administration and the systemic way they operate.

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