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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

A repeat aired Thursday at St. Petersburg City Council meeting


It seemed like a Brady Bunch rerun at Thursday’s City Council meeting.

We know the plot. We know the characters. And we know the ending.

The opening act starts when council member Wengay Newton makes a motion to axe the red-light cameras. Council member Steve Kornell helps him by approving the motion.

The plot thickens. Will the cameras survive?The cameras, Newton says, extorts money from drivers.

In the name of safety, council member Bill Dudley, a former teacher and driving instructor, talks about teaching 14,000 kids to drive since 1970. That’s his favorite line.

Council member Jim Kennedy jumps in by praising traffic engineers and saying he will follow their advice to keep the cameras.

Leaning forward in his chair and clasping his hands, Mayor Bill Foster takes the big-picture view. He talks about fewer crashes and safer streets.

Then the drama starts: The city clerk calls the rolls. The council votes 5-3 to let keep the cameras in operation. Drivers will not get a reprieve from the $158 citations.

At the start of the debate, Dudley even acknowledged the pending rerun: “It seems like we’re discussing the same story over and over again.”


[Last modified: Friday, June 7, 2013 9:19am]


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