A Ray of Hope for Arnold Red-Light Camera Opponents?

11 Mar

In a previous post, I wrote about the dearth of good candidates in the upcoming Arnold City Council elections. I dismissed one of the challengers, Mike Evans, who is taking on Paul Freese. But I was wrong to do so, for he is against red light cameras.

That is correct. He says:

I am strongly opposed to red-light cameras and will make removing them from the city’s streets a top priority.

This is reason enough to vote for him, even if he agrees with Freese on everything else, although I can’t imagine he holds the enthusiasm for “free” trash that Freese does.

Having said this, let me advance a red-light camera scenario. Let’s say Evans wins this race, and Michelle Hohmeier manages to knock off Jeff Fitter. These two, along with incumbent Doris Borgelt, would be three votes against the cameras. I assume that, deep down, incumbent Phil Amato loves the cameras, but I also think he wants to run for mayor (or another office, but my guess is for mayor. He ran for, and lost, a race for mayor in 2009.). Recently, Amato voted against allowing the possibility of using eminent domain for road access to the planned CVS development, stating that he supported eminent domain for the Arnold Commons project and got heavily criticized for it (ignoring the distinction between using eminent domain for private developers vs. the public good). He also ran for Jefferson County Council in 2010 as a self-described conservative, despite his past record. This suggests he is willing to change his positions for political expediency.

So imagine a proposal is made after the election to remove the cameras, and Amato joins the anti-camera group? That would create a 4-4 tie, if all members are present. And what if Mayor Counts breaks the tie with a negative vote (I’m not sure he would, but stick with me here). This would be enough to have the cameras taken down.

Long shot maybe, but we can hope.

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