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Posts Tagged ‘red light cameras’

EV Day 10: Two normally big days to go

We have completed ten days of early voting. Traditionally, the last two days are the big ones. Will we see the same this year? First, here are the comps: 2013 2011 2009 2007 Here’s a look at how turnout has gone over the first ten days of early voting for the past three municipal elections, […]

Interview with Michael Kubosh

We circle back one last time to At Large #3, with Michael Kubosh. Kubosh is a bail bondsman and political activist. He ran for the State Senate as a Democrat against Dan Patrick in 2006, but is best known for his campaign to get the red light cameras taken down, funding and leading the petition […]

Mayor Parker kicks off her campaign

It’s the time of the season for Mayor Parker, who has a serious challenger this time, but also a stronger hand to play. In her tenure, Parker has given teeth to the city’s historic preservation rules, broken a deadlock with Harris County to help build the Dynamo stadium, gave scandal-ridden Metro new leaders and revised […]

The red light camera debate keeps raging on

Elsewhere, thankfully. Not here. League City is the latest to put the plug on red light cameras at intersections. Cameras at three League City intersections were to be turned off by midnight Wednesday, after the City Council voted to cut short its five-year agreement with Arizona-based contractor Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. The contract was set […]

Lawsuit against anti-feeding ordinance dropped

From last week: The plaintiffs suing the city of Houston over its charitable feeding ordinance have abruptly dropped a suit they filed over the issue, just hours after the judge in the case recused himself. The ordinance, which requires property owners’ advance written permission for the charitable feeding of more than five people, was one […]

Hall makes his announcement

Game on. Former Houston City Attorney Ben Hall formally launched his mayoral campaign against incumbent Annise Parker Wednesday night, decrying the burden of taxes and fees he said are driving city residents to the suburbs, and saying Houston’s mayor must have a grander vision. Parker, also on Wednesday, accepted the endorsement of the Houston Police […]

Kubosh is in for Council

This happened on Friday. Michael Kubosh, part of the fighting brothers who finally rid Houston of red-light cameras, is announcing today he’s running for an at-large city council seat. Kubosh will announce he’s running for Melissa Noriega’s at-large seat (she is term-limited out), and an eclectic cast of Houston politicos will be there, according to […]

Speeding tickets and vehicle registration

I confess, I’m puzzled by this. Municipal Court Presiding Judge Barbara Hartle has a proposal on Wednesday’s City Council agenda to sign an agreement with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles that would have the state refuse to issue vehicle registrations to people who have outstanding traffic fines. As proposed by Hartle, by investing about […]

First pass at analyzing the 2012 results

This is kind of a brain dump, based on the information available now. I’ll have plenty more to say once precinct data has been released. – The current tally in the Presidential race on the Secretary of State webpage, with comparison to 2008, is as follows: 2008 Votes Pct =========================== McCain 4,479,328 55.45% Obama 3,528,633 […]

Somebody else’s red light camera problems

Sugar Land: A Fort Bend County activist wants to pull the plug on Sugar Land’s red-light cameras, but city officials aren’t about to budge on their plans to ticket motorists caught on camera running red lights. H.F. Van Der Grinten, a semiretired shipmaster, took his message to Sugar Land Municipal Court at 1200 Texas 6 […]

Petitions to overturn homeless feeding ordinance submitted

There’s plenty of signatures, but no guarantee that this will make it onto the ballot. Activists seeking to repeal a new law requiring City Hall’s permission to serve charitable meals on city-owned land turned in 34,000 petition signatures on Monday asking that the issue be put to voters in November. Despite the passion surrounding the […]

Yes, some cities still have red light cameras

I can’t claim to have any strong feelings one way or another about Austin’s attempts to collect red light camera fines, I was just struck by one aspect of this story. Beginning sometime this summer, the city will work with state and county officials to begin withholding vehicle registration renewals from those who have an […]

Another homeless feeding update

Depending on how you look at it, time is either running out for the petition signature gatherers who hope to overturn the homeless feeding ordinance, or it isn’t. Free to Give Houston, a recently formed political action committee, needs about 28,000 registered voters’ signatures to trigger a charter amendment election in November. The group sent […]

Petition drive to overturn the homeless feeding ordinance

It’s underway. The petitioners have until July 1 to gather their signatures because that’s when the ordinance goes into effect. City Attorney David Feldman just informed me that petitioners have the longer of either 30 days following an ordinance’s passage or until the ordinance’s effective date to gather signatures. In this case, it’s the latter. […]

Collecting unpaid red light camera fines update

You may recall that when the city settled its lawsuit with red light camera vendor ATS, they agreed to pay a certain amount of money that would be generated by collecting still-unpaid red light camera fines. Ted Oberg has an update on how that effort is going. After Houston voters told Mayor Annise Parker to […]

Council agrees to red light camera settlement

At long last. City Council approved a payout of at least $4.8 million Wednesday to settle a lawsuit and take down Houston’s controversial red-light cameras, finally ending a legal battle that began after voters banned the devices in a referendum 15 months ago. The cameras were turned off and outlawed by council in August but […]

No action on red light camera settlement yet

Houston City Council voted to wait two weeks before deciding whether or not to accept the settlement agreement with camera vendor ATS. The City Council on Wednesday delayed approval of a $4.8 million settlement with its red-light camera vendor amid questions about the effect of an appeals court ruling that lets two Houston lawyers intervene […]

City reaches settlement with ATS

I’m still trying to figure out what it means. It will cost the city of Houston at least $4.8 million to get out of its contract for red-light cameras, according to a lawsuit settlement headed to the City Council on Wednesday. American Traffic Solutions has agreed to take down the cameras within 60 days in […]

State not appropriating red light camera funds to trauma centers

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Sandy Greyson drove away from an Arlington meeting eight years ago, and 2 tons of irony wiped her off the road. A red-light runner struck her passenger side, pushing the Dallas City Council member’s car into a field. Greyson suffered a broken wrist and a head wound […]

Don’t draw broad conclusions from muddled evidence

I have a number of issues with the analysis presented in this Chron story about what happened in the runoffs and What It All Means. The results illustrate a continuation of a national trend of anger and frustration toward government during the worst economic stretch since the Great Depression, political observers said. In short: Voters […]

Round Rock to get red light cameras

I’m actually a little surprised that some places are still going forward with these things. Round Rock city officials presented for the final time [Wednesday] the locations of soon-to-be-installed red light cameras throughout the city to a city council-selected committee of Round Rock residents. Round Rock is preparing to install cameras at six intersections across […]

RIP, red light cameras

There they go. Houston’s red-light cameras are done issuing violations. This time, permanently. City Council dealt the controversial cameras a double death blow Wednesday, first ordering their immediate shutdown and then outlawing the use of cameras to catch red-light runners. More than nine months after a majority of Houston voters rejected red-light cameras in a […]

No red light camera action on Friday

Tagged again. City Council passed on an opportunity to outlaw red-light cameras during a special meeting Friday, delaying consideration of the repeal of Houston’s camera ordinance until Wednesday. Councilwoman Sue Lovell tagged the item, a parliamentary maneuver that delays a vote. Lovell previously explained that she did not have the information she needed to make […]

Can this divorce be saved?

After all their feuding this week, the city and the camera vendor are still trying to work out the terms of their breakup. A day after Mayor Annise Parker ripped American Traffic Solutions for “jerking us around” and failing to negotiate in good faith, she said Wednesday that she hopes the two sides can reach […]

No vote on red light cameras today

Tag! The council will not act today on Mayor Annise Parker‘s resolution seeking its approval to shut off the city’s red-light cameras and fight its vendor in court over breach of contract. Councilwoman Sue Lovell tagged it, delaying a vote until at least next week. Today’s Chron had another story about Mayor Parker’s more aggressive […]

You can’t always get what you want

But you can always complain about getting what you want. A little over a month ago, Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced she was turning the red-light cameras back on and declared she did not need the City Council’s approval to do it. Then on Saturday, just three weeks after the city began issuing citations again, […]

Red light cameras may get a Council vote

This ought to be interesting. Houston’s red-light camera vendor said on Friday that Mayor Annise Parker is trying to turn the cameras off again, and it has asked a federal judge to stop her from doing so. City Attorney David Feldman confirmed that the mayor is considering turning the cameras off as she prepares a […]

Those darned propositions

I have three things to say about this. Houston voters can be forgiven if they feel a bit confused. They voted down red-light cameras, but the cameras are on. They may have heard the mayor say that voting for a drainage fee would result in a typical $5 monthly bill that everyone should pay, but […]

Red light camera tickets begin again tomorrow

Drive appropriately. You have been warned. Houston police will begin issuing red-light camera citations Sunday at 50 intersections around the city, the latest maneuver in a protracted court battle over the controversial but lucrative traffic surveillance system. Police Chief Charles McClelland has decided to start with a “clean slate,“ explaining he will not issue citations […]

No appeal for now of red light camera ruling

The city will have to wait until the remaining issues in the red light camera lawsuit are resolved before it can appeal the judge’s ruling. A federal judge ruled Friday that the city of Houston may not appeal his ruling invalidating the November referendum that turned off a red-light surveillance system. “The case is not […]

More on the red light camera return

Here’s the Chron story about the reinstatement of the red light cameras. A couple of points that need to be made: Wednesday’s announcement provoked the full fury of Paul Kubosh, a lawyer who helped lead the petition drive to get the cameras banned. When reached for comment, he did not even wait for a question. […]

Red light cameras to be turned back on

For now, at least. The city of Houston will turn its red-light cameras back on today, Mayor Annise Parker announced after this morning’s City Council meeting. According to a statement from the mayor’s office, tickets will be issued after a “short period of equipment testing.” Houston voters approved a referendum to turn off the cameras […]

Kubosh files appeal in red light camera lawsuit

Mary Benton has the story and the appeal documents. Relevant quote: In the Kubosh appeal attorneys argue, among other points, “if government by the people, of the people, and for the people is to have meaning in Houston, this Court must permit Appellants to appeal the manifestly erroneous, June, 17, 2011, summary judgment granted in […]

Response from the city on the red light camera ruling

Previously, I wrote that I had asked the city about the possibility of appealing the ruling in the red light camera lawsuit. I received the following response from the Mayor’s office yesterday: This was what’s known as an interlocutory order from the judge. As such, we are required to seek permission from the district court […]