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2013-06-05 Iowa City Set to Repeal Traffic-camera Law (The Gazette)

2013-06-05 Iowa City Set to Repeal Traffic-camera Law (The Gazette)

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Published by stopbigbrother
Press coverage by The Gazette (http://thegazette.com/)
Press coverage by The Gazette (http://thegazette.com/)

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Published by: stopbigbrother on Jul 27, 2013
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6/6/13Iowa City set to repeal traffic-camera law | TheGazettethegazette.com/2013/06/05/iowa-city-set-to-repeal-traffic-camera-law/1/3
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 A red light camera on First Avenue East, facingnorthbound traffic at the intersection with 10thStreet SE. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Iowa City likely will be free of red-light and speedcameras for the next two years, but there’s noguarantee that will extend beyond that time frame.The City Council voted 7-0 Tuesday night on the firstconsideration to repeal an ordinance it approved lastyear allowing traffic-enforcement cameras. Theproposal also would add a new chapter to City Codethat prohibits the use of automatic traffic-surveillancesystems, drones and automatic license-plate readersunless a police officer or parking attendant is on thescene.Two more votes are needed for the changes to takeeffect.The councilindicated last monthit was heading inthis direction after a petition sought to either ban the devices or allow the public to vote on their use.City staffers recommended the council repeal thetraffic-camera ordinance because the city does nothave any cameras installed yet and likely would notuntil next year as it waits for the state to develop ruleson their use.The City Council could reconsider the issue two years after the ordinance is repealed. Four ofthe seven council members and police Chief Sam Hargadine have already said they are
Gregg Hennigan
Gregg Hennigan covers local government in the Iowa City/JohnsonCounty area, with a focus on city, county and K-12 news. [...]Email the author
5 June 2013 | 6:04 am
inFeatured,Government,Johnson County Area,Statewide News
Iowa City set to repeal traffic-camera law 
Two more votes needed for two-year ban to take effect
Masters in Taxation
Earn a Masters Degree in Taxation Online at Northeastern University.Taxation.NEU.Edu
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6/6/13Iowa City set to repeal traffic-camera law | TheGazettethegazette.com/2013/06/05/iowa-city-set-to-repeal-traffic-camera-law/2/3
interested in eventually using red-light cameras.That included council member Susan Mims.“My feeling is it doesn’t necessarily prevent us from doing what council may or may not wantto do two years from now,” she said. Also Tuesday night, the City Council voted in favor of an agreement that eliminates Sundayrides and discounted fares for SEATS, a public transit service for the elderly and people withdisabilities. But it came with the caveat that city staff will explore ways to save those services.City officials have suggested the cuts to save money after Johnson County, which runs theservice on contract for Iowa City and Coralville, said it would reduce its financial support.The cities, along with North Liberty, have been negotiating and often fighting with JohnsonCounty over SEATS for several months. Johnson County officials maintain the county has beensubsidizing the cities, a position city officials reject. About 10 people spoke at the council meeting, all but one of them opposed to Iowa Cityeliminating Sunday service and half-fares for people who qualify.Terry Cunningham, addressing the council from his wheelchair, said many people rely onSunday service to get to work, church and stores and doing away with it would keep them athome as if they were in an institution.“If you can’t get out and participate, then you’re locked up,” he said.The council asked staff to search for possible alternatives, but there was no consensus onwhat members would find acceptable.Mayor Matt Hayek pushed for the cuts, saying SEATS would not be solvent in the long termwithout them and noting staff could find no other city in Iowa that offered half-fares.City Manager Tom Markus was blunter, telling council member Jim Throgmorton, “At the endof the day, Jim, it’s all about money.”Throgmorton disagreed, saying the city had a moral obligation to help those most in need. Hesuggested a transition that would more slowly phase out those services over the coming yearsrather than by this September, as was proposed.“It’s really a question about what we value,” he said.The city and county, along with Coralville, ultimately must reach an agreement by July 1.Johnson County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Janelle Rettig hasalready been criticalof

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