The fight is not over. Free Denton has fallen silent for a few weeks while more information collects and to wait and see the results of our city elections. I would like to thank everyone that contacted our candidates and let them know your stance on the red light camera scam.
The media thus far, refuses to investigate this story, so we have requested documents through the open government act and will provide you with a detailed history of red light camera abuse – assuming the city doesn’t try to dodge the Texas Open Government act and Freedom of Information Act.
Until then, there is plenty of readily available information to point to the shady nature of this entire red light camera enterprise.
On April 1, 2013, the Denton Traffic Safety Commission held a meeting where member Gilmore Morris asked Captain Scott Fletcher why some communities were removing these red light cameras.
Captain Fletcher’s response danced around the truth. He first deflected by speaking about cities outside of our own state and commented on the collection procedure being a motivating factor for removal. He then mentioned that in Houston, the city had turned them off due to a citizen’s group forcing a vote but the cameras had been turned back on again.
Let me share some truth.
A full year before Morris asked this question, Houston had settled a lawsuit for 12 million dollars and shut the red light cameras down, for good.
A citizen’s group had risen up and forced a vote which the city initially fought but was forced to accept in August of 2011. They then entered into a protracted legal battle with the camera vendor for breach of contract.
Any reason why Captain Fletcher might be reluctant to tell the traffic Safety Commission about this?
By the April 2013 meeting, several Texas cities had voted to ban these Orwellian devices. Houston, Baytown, College Station, League City just to name a few. When will we abandon this sinking ship? After the city has installed dozens more cameras and looted motorists of millions more in their thinly disguised money-making scheme? How many millions will the ensuing lawsuit cost us?
But if Captain Fletcher had spelled out the cost, what could the Traffic Safety Commission have done?
The Commission is a powerless farce meant to give an appearance of oversight to an out of control, corrupt program. In 2009, the city voted to dissolve the Commission which at least one former member, John Crew. believed, at the time was “was a way to silence commission members from bringing up things the city doesn’t want to discuss.”
It was reformed with a directive that it was simply an advisory board and given no power. The following year, the red light camera program was expanded.
Recently, Gilmore Morris, the member who asked the question why communities were banning red light cameras and received the incomplete answer, resigned.
Further, as recently noted on Free Denton, this question was answered without disclosure of a recent scandal involving our own vendor, Redlex. The Chicago bribery scandal had them kicked out of that city by February 2013, two months prior to this meeting in an investigation which had been underway since November 2012.
The media may be reluctant to report on this, but stay tuned to Free Denton for more information about this growing scandal and how you can help make Denton an inviting and safe community again.