Speed Camera Hijinks At City Council Meeting
The ordinance for Chicago’s potential speed camera bill did not get introduced at Wednesday’s city council meeting.
Considering how fast Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel shepherded the speed camera through the Illinois General Assembly this fall, it is somewhat of a shock the ordinance didn’t pop up the first City Council meeting after Illinois Governor Quinn signed the bill into law.
But the council members already a pretty full plate, signing the debt recovery ordinance that would allow the city to recover past due parking tickets, red light camera tickets and other municipal debt by attaching the state tax refunds of people and businesses who have outstanding debts.
The ordinance passed 41-8 according to the Chicago Tribune.
However, despite not even being on the agenda, the speed camera bill was the center of attention.
That’s because there seems to be some dissension in the ranks of the city council on the speed camera bill.
5th ward alderman Leslie Hairston joined the ranks of other no votes on the current ordinance according to ABC 7 News, who feels speed camera enforcement is just another way for the city to reach into citizen’s wallets for revenue.
Hairston joins a small, but seemingly growing list of aldermen who have publicly expressed opposition to speed cameras including Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd), Ald. John Arena (45th) and Ald. Joe Moore (49th).
But Transportation Committee Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) is also pushing for changes to key elements to the ordinance. He wants to shorten the hours of enforcement to better coincide with actual school hours proposing enforcement ending at 4 PM around school zones but allowing later enforcement around parks according to WLS AM.
Yet Mayor Emanuel seems unbending in his determination to keep the hours of enforcement the same, at least according to WLS AM.
Beale also is concerned about the fine structure, questioning the size of the fees and discussing the possibility of graduating the cost of the fines according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Because ordinances by law, must be introduced before a full city council meeting before they are sent to a committee for review, the speed camera ordinance will probably be introduced at next month’s City Council meeting.