Proposal to put red-light cameras to the voters dies in commission

Should Collier County citizens get to vote on red light cameras?

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The Collier County Commissioners put the brakes on red-light cameras discussions — at least in the interim. Commissioners voted 4 to 1 Tuesday not to put the issue on an upcoming ballot. Commissioner Jim Coletta, who made the proposal to allow voters to decide, was the lone dissenter.

"I fulfilled my promise to bring the issue back to discuss putting it on the ballot," Colletta said.

The vote comes two weeks after commissioners voted 3-2 to approve a 10-year contract with American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the Arizona-based company that has operated the cameras since April 2009. In voting to approve the contract, Coletta said he would like the voters to have a say in whether the county keeps the contract with ATS. The contract can be reviewed and canceled by either party after one year with 30 days notice.

Coletta placed an item on Tuesday's agenda asking commissioners to direct the county attorney to draft a resolution that would put a straw ballot question about the red-light cameras on the August primary ballot.

Coletta's District 5 commission opponent, John Lundin, also proposed a referendum. Lundin wanted a binding referendum and he wanted it placed on the November general election ballot.

But Coletta said he was told by County Attorney Jeff Klatzkow that commissioners cannot put a binding referendum on the ballot, but straw ballots are acceptable. Henning said he did not believe the fate of red-light cameras should be up to the voters.

"It's a policy," he said "I could see a question about raising taxes or a hidden tax on your electric bill, those are questions we should ask voters. But they elected us to make policy."

Henning said the ballot proposal was nothing more than two commission candidates addressing criticism.

"We could put a lot on the ballot, but where would it stop?" he said. "I know it is campaign season, but we should not burden (people) with this. I am not going to vote for it."

Hiller said the county could look at the yellow-light intervals and the all red-clear intervals at the intersection, which could improve public safety and might allow the county to get out of the traffic-camera business.

Coletta fought back saying he and Lundin were not at odds with one another, but wanted the same goal — to give voters a say on the cameras. Colletta said he did not believe that looking at yellow lights and red lights would change anything.

Hiller disagreed. She said if the board was going to put questions about red-light cameras on the ballot, she would also like to see a question about fluoridated water.

The red-light camera issue got heated before Coletta could present his idea when Lundin, who is running as a Democrat, presented a public petition about his idea of a binding referendum on the November ballot.

During his remarks, Lundin read anonymous comments on a red-light cameras story in the Naples Daily News. The comments mostly criticized Coletta about his decision to support the cameras.

Coletta, who told the Daily News before the commission meeting last month that he didn't think he could support the cameras, changed his mind after hearing Sheriff Kevin Rambosk speak, he said.

When a buzzer sounded to tell Lundin his time was up, he argued that he had only spoke four minutes and had not been given 10 minutes allotted for a public petition.

An argument ensued and Collier County Sheriff deputies removed Lundin from the commission chambers. Following a discussion outside while commissioners heard an unrelated petition, Ian Mitchell, the executive manager for the Board of County Commissioners, said he inadvertently shorted Lundin four minutes.

Mitchell apologized to Lundin and he was given another four minutes, which he tried to cede to Collier sheriff candidate Vinny Angiolillo so that Angiolillo could discuss traffic statistics. But Klatzkow said Lundin could not cede his time when asking that his public petition be heard.

Lundin did not speak further.

For now, commissioners will not be talking about red-light cameras either.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 28

JohnDoeNJ writes:

Clearly the Collier County voters cannot be trusted to make a decision of this magnitude themselves.

endtimes writes:

Jim your FIRED!!! if we don't hit the target with Nance, then we will with Lundin you better start filling out job appilcation now, learn to say welcome to wal-mart with a smile

AmericasTrueRecoveryBeginsIn2016 writes:

Yet another very good reason why people cannot (and should not) take Lundin seriously as a person, let alone as a candidate for public office.

His constant overreactionary and extreme behavior makes him look more like a petulant six-year-old than anything else.

Which is why he should, deservedly, be soundly defeated at the polls in November.

OP writes:

What was this, a purported attempt to maybe allow the people to govern themselves?

What kind of government would allow that.

KatoMan writes:

We should never vote to decide if we should obey the law or not . . . the law states we MUST stop for a Red Light . . . ALL THE TIME . . . and not just when an officer is present . . . What are you thinking people???

RangeRat writes:

in response to KatoMan:

We should never vote to decide if we should obey the law or not . . . the law states we MUST stop for a Red Light . . . ALL THE TIME . . . and not just when an officer is present . . . What are you thinking people???

Attempt to indicate where there is any mention...ANY MENTION...of a vote on not obeying the law?????? It's all about deciding if we'd like the county to use the intent of the law to fine citizens without due process, by people who don't even live in the state, and turning the little electronic cameras into a thriving business for the politicos and a private company in ARIZONA. Arizona making some bucks off the backs of unemployed citizens of Collier County! Come on, what are you thinking? Of course they don't want their cash cow put up for a vote!

meex writes:

Get rid of the three (3) C's: Coletta, society's quadruple dipping free loader Coyle & Cameras!!!

wentfishn writes:

I love it!

staghorn writes:

just can't trust them, can you? and it's not the red light cameras it those republicans!

you know what them republicans say, ......

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

PlumSmuggler writes:

Colletta is a snake! He votes to keep the cameras & then makes sure to cover his assets w/ the voters..."I fulfilled my promise to bring the issue back to discuss putting it on the ballot"

Nice try w/ the Jedi Mind Tricks.

CoolridenJoe (Inactive) writes:

I new that this was going to happen! The only way that these red-light cameras will ever come down is to get a petition started that will force the county commissioners to have to put it on the ballot! Even with that the commissioners may force this into court to try and screw the people out of their right to vote on this.

JohnDoeNJ writes:

Which one of the four commissioners that voted against putting it on the ballot is a "left wing liberal democrat"?

Damm those "left wing liberal democrat" Republicans!

JohnDoeNJ writes:

in response to John_Wesley_Hardin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Which one of the four commissioners that voted against putting it on the ballot is a "left wing liberal democrat"?

Damm those "left wing liberal democrat" Republicans!

PeterDanielRichter writes:

I was at the meeting today - and one important fact remains that needs to be said - Mr. Henning did not vote to put it on the ballot for a good reason - he correctly pointed out that the cameras are a violation of our constitutionally guaranteed rights. Putting this up for a vote would be no more constitutional than a ballot initiative to allow the Collier Sheriff's dept to enter your home without a warrant and without probable cause. Even though it means that the cameras remain (for now) Mr. Henning should be applauded. We need to keep the pressure on and get them to end the cameras - or better yet, replace Passidomo and we'll get them banned state-wide!

*I'm running against Passidomo in November - please remember to Vote Peter Richter!

http://www.electRichter.com

wonderful (Inactive) writes:

in response to meex:

Get rid of the three (3) C's: Coletta, society's quadruple dipping free loader Coyle & Cameras!!!

This is beginning to resemble the obama white house more with every passing day.

Do any of these folks know what they are doing?

Certainly not paving our roads as promised. Nor listening to the people: CONSOLIDATION, eh?

PINKSLIPS in 2012 for this lot!

John_Q_Public writes:

Hear hear, Mr. Richter! It is refreshing to hear a candidate for office actually understand our inalienable rights and vow to protect them when in office.

PeterDanielRichter writes:

in response to CoolridenJoe:

I new that this was going to happen! The only way that these red-light cameras will ever come down is to get a petition started that will force the county commissioners to have to put it on the ballot! Even with that the commissioners may force this into court to try and screw the people out of their right to vote on this.

Joe, there's a better way! Vote for me and I will shake up that pit of vipers in Tallahassee! I will get them to ban those red light cameras state wide.

How can I do this? Simple - when a Republican Fortress like Collier County sends a Libertarian to represent them, they will be shaking in their boots that their own districts might just do the same! Send a message! Vote Liberty!

PeterDanielRichter writes:

in response to John_Q_Public:

Hear hear, Mr. Richter! It is refreshing to hear a candidate for office actually understand our inalienable rights and vow to protect them when in office.

If we're going to use the Constitution to save the country, we need to understand it first! Second, we must uphold it EVERY TIME, even when we don't particularly like it. I'd love to see Red Light cameras on the ballot - because I know people would vote it down - but at the same time, I know they're completely unconstitutional, so despite the goal, we must stick to the law of the land. In the long run, we'll all be better off.

sageinbloom writes:

They can't have a referendum because what little sense they have tells them that the camera scam will be soundly defeated - then they will have a bees nest on their hands. To deny the voters the opportunity to speak at the polls would seem to support the notion that the cameras (aka cash cows) were put in place to make money, not reduce accidents.

paul_vincent_zecchino writes:

So, the citizens whose pockets are to be picked merit no say in the matter?

Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it, akin to the law being written down as it's spoken?

Like making it up as one goes along?

Snitch-Kamz are a racket which denies citizens due process in order to raid their wallets, by means of questionable evidence gathered by costly robots.

WWGOS? What Would George Orwell Say?

Is it any wonder the Old Estate Grift, the by which avaricious goons and their predator-codpieces with law degrees enrich themselves by using Judicial Terrorism to take assets from their rightful possessors is going so swimmingly down Napoli way?

Yeah, yeah. I know. So young. So fair.

Yet so cynical.*

Paul Vincent Zecchino
Manasoviet Key, Florida
13 March, 2012

* - c. Robert W. Parker

savethewhalz writes:

Mr. Colleta perhaps forgot his responsibility as a representative of the citizens of District 5. We elect government officials to represent us, make decisions on our behalf, sometimes unpopular, not to cower under the aegis "let the people decide." Mob rule is usually nasty.

John_Galt writes:

Colletta is a coward. Vote the unpopular way when it counts, then vote the popular way when it doesn't count. THROW HIM OUT! EITHER of his opponents would clearly be better - if for no other reason than because they are both honest men! I'd rather elect an honest man that I disagree with, than a dishonest man that is in the same party as me.

jbm9 writes:

in response to PeterDanielRichter:

I was at the meeting today - and one important fact remains that needs to be said - Mr. Henning did not vote to put it on the ballot for a good reason - he correctly pointed out that the cameras are a violation of our constitutionally guaranteed rights. Putting this up for a vote would be no more constitutional than a ballot initiative to allow the Collier Sheriff's dept to enter your home without a warrant and without probable cause. Even though it means that the cameras remain (for now) Mr. Henning should be applauded. We need to keep the pressure on and get them to end the cameras - or better yet, replace Passidomo and we'll get them banned state-wide!

*I'm running against Passidomo in November - please remember to Vote Peter Richter!

http://www.electRichter.com

Great post peter!

jbm9 writes:

in response to KatoMan:

We should never vote to decide if we should obey the law or not . . . the law states we MUST stop for a Red Light . . . ALL THE TIME . . . and not just when an officer is present . . . What are you thinking people???

there has not been cameras for years. all of a sudden we need them,just another cash cow.you don't need cameras to obey the law.

markinnaples writes:

Why not a straw ballot to gauge whether the citizens of Collier want the cameras or not?

This is ridiculous. At least Coletta raised the issue. Now, get rid of the rest of the commissioners just for voting against it.

Whatever happened to the people being in control?

jcwconsult writes:

It is obvious why the vote is not being allowed, officials know the cameras would be voted out and the gravy train of revenue that comes mostly from safe drivers would end.

Mr. Henning says "... we should not burden (people) with this." What he meant was "... we should not burden the Council with the knowledge that we would LOSE a public vote."

Ms. Hiller is almost certainly correct, IF the engineers set correctly longer yellow intervals for the ACTUAL approach speeds of vehicles and timed the all-red intervals properly, the cameras would be removed because they would lose so much money.

Red light cameras REQUIRE less safe and improper engineering to be profitable and engineers have to use improper parameters that make the intersections less safe so that the cities can profit from the cameras. It is not moral. See the science and research on our website. Residents should call all the council officials to demand the cameras NOT be used. Then call state legislators to demand the bill authorizing red light cameras be repealed.

James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, www.motorists.org, Ann Arbor, MI

ex151b#232440 writes:

This is the way it goes - the commissioners do what they want - not what we want.
Look how it went with the deal on building a medical factory out by Ava Maria. The commisioners only changed their mind because the people 100% were against it. (Then Coletta still tried to pass it)

ex151b#232440 writes:

in response to John_Galt:

Colletta is a coward. Vote the unpopular way when it counts, then vote the popular way when it doesn't count. THROW HIM OUT! EITHER of his opponents would clearly be better - if for no other reason than because they are both honest men! I'd rather elect an honest man that I disagree with, than a dishonest man that is in the same party as me.

Colletta is a real bum!

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