Chances are that members of the Naperville city council won’t get ‘burned’ from latest scandal regarding red light cameras (RLC’s), however they did make the decision to do business with the company at the center of the scandal, Redflex.
The Chicago Tribune reported (January 23, 2014) “a fired executive of Chicago’s beleaguered red light camera company alleges in a lawsuit that Redflex Traffic Systems doled out bribes and gifts at ‘dozens of municipalities’ in 13 other states”.
This is the same company that the Naperville city council contracted to operate the Red Light Camera program in the city. Then in November of 2011, the city council voted not to extend the contract with Redflex, putting and end to the use of RLC’s in Naperville.
The vote to continue the use of RLC’s through Redflex required a simple majority (5) of the council, however the city council deadlocked 4-4 and the contract was not extended. Councilman Paul Hinterlong was absent from the vote.
Council members voting ‘No’ to the extension included Chirico, Fieseler, Krause and Wehrli. Current council members voting ‘Yes’ to extend the contract with Redflex included Judith Brodhead, Joe McElroy, and Mayor George Pradel, along with former councilman Kenn Miller.
Many municipalities decided not to utilize RLC technology, and many municipalities discontinued the use of those cameras very soon after implementing them. Naperville on the other hand was very slow to end the use of RLC’s even though problems began to surface throughout the country.
This is very similar to Naperville’s forced installation of Smart Meters on the homes and businesses of those who don’t want them. Even though problems with so-called Smart Meters have surfaced throughout the country, and many municipalities have decided not to install ‘Smart’ meters, or to reverse their decisions to do so, Naperville city officials are again slow to ‘do the right thing’ by dumping the Smart Meter fiasco as they ultimately did with RLC’s.
Naperville city council members along with city manager Doug Krieger can only hope that forced installation of Smart Meters doesn’t result in another scandal. It appears they haven’t learned about playing too close to the flame.