Advertisement
  1. News

Brooksville votes to end controversial red-light camera program

Brooksville voted Monday to end the controversial red-light camera program, including this one at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Ponce de Leon Boulevard.
Published Feb. 4, 2015

BROOKSVILLE — Red-light cameras will soon be just a memory in Brooksville.

The City Council voted 3-1 Monday night to bring the controversial saga to an end when the contract with the vendor runs out — likely in December, although there might be some dispute about the date.

Since the cameras returned to Brooksville in 2012, council members have heard a litany of complaints from residents and business owners who argued that the cameras have turned away business, given the city a bad reputation and caused accidents rather than stopping them.

"I want you to listen to what the people want,'' said former council member Joe Bernardini, ''and they don't want this.''

"I just don't see where it's helping any business here,'' said Greg Stephens, owner of Saxon Manor and the former Christmas House.

Brooksville lawyer Peyton Hyslop, who has successfully represented numerous red-light ticket recipients, said it was time to end the program.

"These cameras are not what our American system of justice is about,'' Hyslop said. "Do away with that portion of my revenue and your portion of revenue that comes from these red-light cameras.''

"It is time to be rid of the red-light cameras, which have been negative marketing for Brooksville,'' newly elected City Council member Betty Erhard said. "The people have spoken, and I implore the council to hear the people and terminate the contract.''

New council member Robert Battista, a lawyer, suggested that instead of ending the contract immediately, it would be better to simply let the contract run out. He also suggested that, in the interim, the council should increase the speed limit allowed for right turns on red from 5 to 10 mph — a change that will have to be made at a later date.

Council member Natalie Kahler said she wasn't opposed to cameras. The city's job is to enforce traffic laws, and the city chose to use red-light cameras to do that, she said. She was the lone vote against the motion to not renew the contract.

In the current fiscal year, the red-light cameras are projected to generate $2.3 million. After paying the state and the vendor's portions, Brooksville projects that, after paying staff to review the camera results, the city will realize nearly $400,000 in revenue.

Contact Barbara Behrendt at bbehrendt@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1434.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Dr. Manjusri Vennamaneni (center) was awarded Businesswoman of the Year by the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce. With her are Matt Romeo, President of PrimeCare (left), and Dr. Pariksith Singh, CEO, Access Health Care Physicians. Vince Vanni
    News and notes on local businesses
  2. Scientology’s international spiritual headquarters in downtown Clearwater is anchored by the Flag Building, on left. An elevated walkway connects the building to the Fort Harrison Hotel, the church’s first purchase in the city in 1975. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    The mysterious deals could reshape downtown Clearwater.
  3. Clearwater City Council members react to Tampa Bay Times reporting showing companies tied to members of Scientology bought 101 acres of downtown commercial property in three years. Times  |   (2017)
    We showed the politicians a map of the land now owned by buyers tied to Scientology. Here’s what they said.
  4. About 400 demonstrators protest the Church of Scientology in front of City Hall in April 1980. The church has a complicated history with the city, from its secret arrival in 1975 to its recent flood of downtown property purchases. PIERSON, DAVE  |  St. Petersburg Times
    The church arrived in secret in 1975. Here’s what happened next.
  5. The church has amassed 60 properties in Pinellas County since arriving in 1975.
  6. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    Booked on Friday on probation violation charges, 61-year-old Gerald Souders died on Saturday.
  7. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    Troopers say the 28-year-old driver was involved in two minor accidents before causing the crash that killed a Largo man.
  8. Move over, Honeycrisp: New apple to debut at grocery stores
  9. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    University police say a 25-year-old grad student enrolled at the University of Florida fell to her death Friday afternoon from near the top of the 8-story parking facility.
  10. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister [CHRIS URSO | Times]
    Yes, that’s an "R" next to his name on the ballot. But if you dig deeper, Sue Carlton asks, does the sheriff bleed blue? And a follow-up: Does it matter?
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement