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Mayor and City Manager Rethink Red-Light Cameras’ Fate as Council Member Proposes Referendum

| May 2, 2014

ats red light cameras american traffic solutions

They’re still on, but for how long? (© FlaglerLive)

Red-light cameras are still flashing in Palm Coast. But they’re hanging on by a blink as even their most ardent supporters are beginning to favor ending the cameras’ reign in the city.

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That includes City Manager Jim Landon, who said Friday that “we need to look very hard at how we’re going to eliminate this program in Palm Coast.” And it includes Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts, who said Friday he was still philosophically in support of the cameras, but no longer pragmatically so. “If this is creating more unrest and more aggravation and more annoyance, if you’re getting that kind of a push-back, then it’s counter-productive,” Netts said.

City Council member Bill McGuire, who ran on a pro-red-light-camera platform three years ago, wants to rethink the system. He’s personally torn about which way to go, but if a majority of residents want the system gone, he’d take them out. To that end, McGuire intends to propose that the city itself push a referendum on the issue on this year’s municipal ballot. A citizen’s group is trying to gather enough signatures to qualify for a ballot initiative, but it’s not clear how far it’s gotten in gathering petitions. “I’ll be happy to propose that the city sponsors a referendum and see what kind of results we’ll have,” McGuire said. “I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is a moral dilemma for me, if I should support the removal of them.”

Council member Dave Ferguson wouldn’t remove the cameras outright, he said, but he’s long opposed their saturating city intersections. He would prefer that the number of cameras be scaled back to a few, critical intersections.

Council members Bill Lewis and Jason DeLorenzo couldn’t be reached Friday. But DeLorenzo is the one council member who’s consistently made his opposition to cameras clear, and who’s voted against adopting the city’s contract or amendments with American Traffic Solutions, the Arizona-based private company that runs the system for the city, at no cost to taxpayers, but at great profits to its bottom line: ATS makes more than twice as much money as the city does on ticket revenue, and the state takes an even larger share than ATS’s. Palm Coast is guaranteed, at most, close to $400,000 a year, assuming all 47 cameras are flashing. Fewer than that are functioning now because of construction projects.

The council, in sum, is no longer unquestioningly behind red-light cameras, but it’s time for it to have a more earnest discussion, Netts said: he wants to know more clearly where the council stands on the issue, and what it would cost the city to end its contract with ATS, though he says that cost would not figure in his decision to end or not end the city’s relationship with the company.

“This is not a dollar and cents issue, this has never been, contrary to what many people seem to feel and express,” Netts said. “We didn’t put them in to make money, and I’m not going to not take them out simply because it costs money to take them out.”

“The best thing that could happen in my opinion is for the referendum to go forth and for the citizens to stand up and say, we want them gone.”–Council Member Bill McGuire

The council’s doubt over the system is the result of a sustained backlash against the cameras that every few months, or every few weeks, takes on a different angle. In the last six weeks, two county judges—Flagler County Circuit Judge Dennis Craig and County Judge Melissa Moore-Stens—both embarrassed the city (Craig as a ticketed vehicle owner, Moore-Stens as a sitting judge), questioning the city’s good faith and respect for the court system in stern and unequivocal language. Moore-Stens was especially critical of the city not showing up at a red-light camera hearing this week.

In an appearance on Free For All Friday on WNZF, City Manager Jim Landon himself offered hsis strongest language yet against continuing the red-light camera program and said he’s initiated discussions with ATS on ending the relationship (though Landon hasn’t yet discussed that approach in open meeting with council members).

Closely echoing Netts’ evolving opinion on red-light cameras, Landon said escalating fines past the $158 benchmark, as happens once the citation becomes a traffic ticket, was never the city’s intent. But state law twice changed the system, standardizing the fines, the way the fines are split between local governments and the state, and the way original citations become traffic tickets through the state court system if they’re not paid within a 60-day window, all of which complicates matters for drivers and the city.

Landon defended the city’s no-show in court this week, saying it’s never been summoned to court before for such hearings, and that the city and the clerk of court had met last year to come up with a system that would dismiss certain citations that had escalated into traffic tickets as long as violators paid the original $158 fine. “That was our agreed upon system at the request of the court,” Landon said. “This week we hear, well, you can’t do that.”

Landon’s larger point was that the red-light camera system overall has gotten out of hand.

“I can tell you that I was, and I still am, a fan from a philosophical standpoint of people that run red lights are putting people in danger,” Landon said. He described the case this week of a 72-year-old cyclist who was struck and killed on a crosswalk along White View Parkway by a driver who’d apparently violated her right-of-way, at an intersection where Landon’s granddaughter had been just five minutes earlier, on her way to school. It’s not a red-light camera intersection: there are no lights there. But Landon said the incident reflected the sort of driver behavior the city is looking to address with red-light cameras.

But it’s gotten beyond that.

“We definitely will have this conversation,” Landon said of the fate of red-light cameras. “I know other people will probably bring it up. I will bring it up at the council meeting next week. We need to look very hard at how we’re going to eliminate this program in Palm Coast. The ironic thing about that, that I found very ironic, is that council members have asked me to go to our vendor and ask how do we get out of our contract, because we have unintended consequences. We do not like the results we’re seeing, we think this is, in essence, it feels like we’re harassing our citizens, and it doesn’t feel good any longer. So the day before this court hearing, I met with a representative of ATS and got the ball started as to how can we sit down and renegotiate the contract to get out of this as quickly and as efficiently as possible.”

Like Netts, Landon said he’d have favored the sort of system where the first violation would be a warning, not a $158 ticket. But state law forbids that approach—and Palm Coast itself forbade it when it had the chance to impose just such a system when it installed the cameras in 2007, with Netts and Landon in their respective positions even then.

Bill McGuire. (© FlaglerLive)

Bill McGuire. (© FlaglerLive)

Jim Manfre, the Flagler Sheriff, was alongside Landon during this morning’s show and was asked what he thought of red-light cameras. Law enforcement officials usually oppose such systems, because they undermine the normal parameters within which actual cops issue tickets and drivers contest them. But Manfre punted. He said he would not get between the city and the court system on the issue. His one endorsement was for the cameras as a law enforcement tool. The camera footage is often used to follow up on crimes that may have been caught in the recordings. Such footage has been useful in tracking down and arresting suspects. Would he favor buying the camera system and retaining it just to that end? “I’m not a big fan of cameras everywhere,” Manfre said, though cameras at certain intersections would be useful, he said.

But that would cost money, Landon said, and entail a policy shift by the council to actually take ownership of the red-light cameras. Given how radioactive the system has become, the council is unlikely to take that step. Netts doesn’t favor a referendum on how to proceed next, however, as McGuire now does.

“I think there’s a strong groundswell to do so, and I wish I could get on the bandwagon,” McGuire said. “The best thing that could happen in my opinion is for the referendum to go forth and for the citizens to stand up and say, we want them gone.”

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69 Responses for “Mayor and City Manager Rethink Red-Light Cameras’ Fate as Council Member Proposes Referendum”

  1. Johnny Taxpayer says:

    “This is not a dollar and cents issue, this has never been” Cough cough BULL SH@! cough cough…

  2. Jon Hardison says:

    Thank goodness! These part of our story needs to come to a close.

  3. m&m says:

    I think the ones complaining are those who broke the law and ran a red light. I also think the city saw the money coming in and got greedy and put one at all the intersections even on places that were not part of the city.

    • Ron says:

      Where exactly did Palm Coast place a red light camera that was outside of the city limits?

      • Nancy N. says:

        He’s referring to the cameras on SR 100, which is actually county jurisdiction. The city had to go begging to the county at the last minute to get permission to hook up to the signal infrastructure there.

    • Nancy N. says:

      I’ve been screaming bloody murder about these since the day they were announced and have never once received a ticket from them. Is it so hard to believe that some people actually oppose them on constitutional, privacy, and safety grounds?

  4. Mary Cannady says:


  5. blondee says:

    So… the council caves in to the whines of the public on this particular matter. But when we all whined about spending millions on a new city hall, it fell on deaf ears!

  6. Steve Wolfe says:

    Gee, Bill, you think the best thing would be “for the citizens to stand up and say, we want them gone.” When did that occur to ya? What the hell have you been hearing in the mean time?

    I find that it strains the bounds of credulity to believe that these men have had some sort of honest epiphany. That’s just BULL. The only tea leaves they are reading are the ones shoved up their arses by the two Flagler County Judges. The QUESTION that necessarily arises from this is, why did you guys ignore us prior to the FC Judges giving you heartburn? Are we, the people who pay your city manager of the year’s six figure salary just chopped liver?

    And how about Boss Hog’s assertion that, “We didn’t put them in to make money…” Really Netts? That’s not how Judge Craig sees it, and proved it clearly (Oh, you weren’t present then either).

    Do you think you can perform some damage control and prevent the voters of Palm Coast from pushing the rest of your house of cards over? Too late, fellas. All of your shady dealings will now gain much more exposure. Your six figure salaried staff attorney doesn’t earn enough to bail you out now. How bout that “vertical WalMart?”

    • Bill McGuire says:

      Gee, Steve:

      in the past two years, I have received just as many communications via telephone and e-mail supporting the red light cameras as I have opposed to them. And, because a small group of vociferous people come to City Hall to criticize and make demands, does not necessarily mean that they speak for the majority of the people in Palm coast. In case you didn’t know, the red light cameras came to be because of groups of citizens coming to City Hall and demanding that the Council do something about the red light runners in the city of Palm coast. The city seized upon the red light camera program to attempt to correct poor driving habits without having to go to the taxpayers for funding. The fact that there are very few people who are cited a second time would lead one to think that maybe they are changing their driving habits as a result of the first traffic citation. That having been said, however, I am happy to tell you why I would prefer to put this issue to a referendum. I do not want to be the one who unilaterally supports the elimination of the red light camera program, not knowing that it is the will of the majority of the citizens, and then have to face a Palm coast resident who has lost a loved one to a red light runner. If my explanation sounds unrealistic to you. I would be happy to discuss it with you in person, because I know you to be a man of intelligence and insight. Or, you can continue to drink the Kool-Aid of the group of people who believe that the city Council never does anything right-I leave it to you.

      • Steve Wolfe says:

        Monday the 5th, same place, 1 pm?

      • Max Awesomeness says:

        There is zero evidence whatsoever that red light cameras correct anything with respect to driving habits, just like there is zero evidence whatsoever that they prevent fatalities. In fact, according to oppaga’s presentation to the Florida senate:

        Almost across the board there were increases in crashes, and even though the study claims that there was a decrease in fatalities, the difference in fatalities before and after camera installation is lost in statistical noise. Not only that, in 2012-2013 alone over $188 million in revenue was generated.

        So yeah, it’s all about the money, and also maybe think about what you should do next time you meet someone that lost a loved one when they rear ended a resident that locked up their brakes trying to avoid a ticket from the city. After all, it’s statistically far more likely, considering the fact that there was a 35% increase in read end collisions once the cameras were installed.

      • Nancy N. says:

        It is a complete red herring to say that “people aren’t getting tickets a 2nd time so that makes the city safer.” That statistic proves NOTHING, Bill. It doesn’t say how people got tickets – were they for safe rolling right on reds, and those people have now realized that they need to stop completely before turning to satisfy the cameras? That doesn’t improve safety, it just stops you from getting a ticket.

        How about telling us about accident rates at the camera intersections, before and after the cameras were installed? THAT is the important statistic to pay attention to – especially the rate of broadside accidents that are the ones that are the most serious.

  7. Local says:

    YES!!!! I like to see the City actually listening to the people. Get rid of these things.

  8. General Elector says:

    Jim Landon, Palm Coast City Manager seems to have become a Born Again Anti-Red Light Camera advocate today! We don’t know what to make of it Just 2 weeks before we turn in a mountain of Anti-Camera petitions to his desk :) I suppose we have to be forgiving. Welcome home Jim! We still have to vote you out of a job though…sorry we’re bitter.

    Join us in the effort to remove them at the link below:

  9. Ken Dodge says:

    Writing as a $158 tuition-paying graduate of the Landon/ATS School of Driver Re-Education I can speak to the mind-changing consequences of having been photographed and videotaped in the act of violating a turn-on-red ordinance. But whether the cameras remain or not, it is too bad that the technology has not yet been developed and deployed to also (re)educate the motoring public on other risky behaviors, e.g. stop sign and speed limit violations, failure to turn on headlights during rain or before dark, lack of or improper use of directional signals and four-way flashers, discarding cigarettes and other trash out of car windows, and the like. Maybe Big Brother IS watching us, and if he is, I am sure he is not amused.

  10. tulip says:

    I think it should be put to a referendum, then we’ll see how many people actually come out a vote on it one way or the other.

    I think it’s sad if the cameras go away. If people followed driving rules correctly and didn’t feel they were justified in running red lights and being arrogant morons on the road, we wouldn’t have needed the cameras in the first place. I think the accident rate will rise and, at some point, we may have a tax hike or maybe a higher tax put on something else, say gasoline, in order raise to enough money to take care of the roads. A lot of the ticket money was used for that. I forgot what county it is, but it’s thinking of putting a 6 cent tax hike on gasoline. .It’s also possible that If the majority of cameras in Florida are taken down, the state will have to raise taxes and or fees because they will have lost the ticket revenue and will want to replace the money at taxpayers expense. Once a city or state gets used to spending a certain amount of money, they are not to anxious to sacrifice it .

    I do think there are a little too many of them here in Palm Coast, but it really doesn’t bother me. It’s worth it to have a safer city to drive in. I wonder if car insurance rates will go up also. It would seem to me that if there are fewer accidents, the premiums would stay lower. Just a thought

    • Nancy N. says:

      Local traffic statistics do not show a decrease in accidents at the intersections with cameras. I believe this was mentioned at a recent city council meeting by the Sheriff?. Red light cameras are designed to catch and penalize people who don’t fully stop on a safe right turn, or who push the light as it is changing, and take these violations to the bank for the government under the guise of “safety”. But these are not the violations that cause accidents. The vast majority of red light violations that cause accidents are caused by people who are inattentive and don’t notice the light is red, and blow through it in the middle of the cycle. Cameras don’t stop that.

      FIVE PERCENT of the red light cameras in the state are in Palm Coast. FIVE PERCENT. Yet we only have about .3% of the state’s population…that is more than a “few” too many. If you are correct that the state will have to raise revenue to replace the lost camera revenue, I ask you this – why are you ok with the county with the state’s 2nd highest unemployment subsidizing much richer counties by sending them the revenue from our red light cameras? Stop soaking our residents through the red light cameras and let the other counties’ residents pay their fair share for the roads!

      You say that “If people followed driving rules correctly and didn’t feel they were justified in running red lights and being arrogant morons on the road, we wouldn’t have needed the cameras in the first place” but the reality is – we never needed these cameras in the first place! The Sheriff even admitted as much to the city council when they put in the second batch – he told them that the intersections they were targeting did NOT have a problem with accidents. But they did it anyway. Because this has always been about MONEY and nothing more. The “safety” issue has been nothing but a sales pitch designed to pacify the public. Well, it’s not working anymore.

  11. orphan says:

    YAY!! :)

  12. Rob says:

    Duh? Talking about being behind the curve. Where have these guys been? Are they and have they been so dogmatic in their way of thinking they haven’t heard a word the citizens said?

    If this is the thought process of this group one can see why this city is in such a quandary. Should you ask them ( the town council) they would assert everything is coming up roses in this city. A city with something like double digit unemployment and less than $23,000 median incomes.

    “City Manager Jim Landon himself offered hsis strongest language yet against continuing the red-light camera program and said he’s initiated discussions with ATS on ending the relationship (though Landon hasn’t yet discussed that approach in open meeting with council members)” The key words here are open meeting, so he may have had discussions with them individually. Because the Mayor is on record as stating the Town Manager does just as the council directs him to do.

    I hope there are enough signed petitions to force this issue to a vote.

  13. It would be very wise of the Mayor, Council and City Manager to end the use of red light cameras. It would be even better for Council to also pass an ordinance saying that any future use of ticket cameras must be preceded by a positive vote of the citizens in a public election before the Council could even have any discussions with a camera vendor.

    Some 12 Florida communities have voted to end or ban cameras. In California where they have had longer to understand the true money grab purpose of the cameras and there has been more time for the public to build opposition, some 64 California communities have voted to end or ban them.

    Red light cameras are money machines, not safety machines, and that has always been true. Ending them would be a great decision for the Mayor, Council and City Manager.

    James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association

  14. Parent says:

    I hope the Red Light Cameras come down by his Summer, so I don’t have to drive my kids to Ormond for swim lessons. There are 17 Red Light Cameras (Round Trip) from my home to the City Pool on Belle Terre.

  15. Ron says:

    I’m not so sure that a referendum to remove the cameras will actually pass. I feel that all this complaining about the cameras is coming from an extremely vocal MINORITY of residents.

    I guess there is only one way to find out….. put it on the ballot as see what happens.

    • Rob says:

      Would that be similar to the vocal minority that pushed the city into building a loss leading golf course and tennis center? If so then vocal minorities rule.

  16. jetansue says:

    Well,well, The powers that be start to feel a little pressure and begin the exodus off the ship trying to say, “Hey we really were against these dang red lights all along!” Now in a corner, they’re showing what great lying politicos they are. Whatever it takes to save face is their motto.

  17. confidential says:

    Hope we could achieve the same by backing up that wasteful city hall! Put it back on the referendum! We DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY!

  18. JoJo says:

    Mayor Netts, Tear Down These Cameras!

  19. Gia says:

    Some cities have removed they nonsense red light cameras but have imposed $1000.0 fine to drivers or cyclists riding through red traffic lights & causing accident.

  20. Davis says:

    Leave the lights, just get rid of the Mayor, etc. Don’t even bother to take them down. It can be a constant reminder of stupid, wasteful spending.

  21. Seminole Pride says:

    This was a very poor decision that never should have came to use in Palm Coast. First of all , Palm Coast never fit the infrastructure to have ever been consider for such a system. We don’t have the traffic patterns as that of a major city, and we certainly do not have the qualified city elected officials or workforce that could operate such and maintaining such a traffic system. Palm Coast you were into something that was way over your head, with no means how to control it. Suggest you stay with matters more suitable to a town, less than 75,000. You’re no where near a Miami, yet.

  22. Howe can this man claim its a safety issue , they clearly abused the use of the camera`s by installing 47 of them in a town this size , and if safety is this counsels main concern , how could they invite families to the park and get them all liquored up on the liquor license they obtained by declaring a patch of grass was a Pavilion, they have no shame at all , the city hall Phase one no less for 7 people to hold a meeting , its all about kickbacks , just like they were ripping off the courts and the state , while still sticking people who paid them the fine , but was never court documented , wish we could vote them all out this coming election , no jobs , except McDonald`s , they turned our nice quiet quaint little town ITT build , into crime filled Monolpoly Board

  23. Tom Jacks says:

    Just Landon trying to save his ass. To little, to late. Let him crawl back into the hole he came out of. He can take his yes men city council with him as well.

  24. Donna Heiss says:

    Well, I saw the flip side of this issue yesterday, There was a horrendous accident on Rt. 100 and John Anderson yesterday shortly before 1pm. A woman driving a new red SUV ran the red light crossing over Rt. 100. Traffic on 100 had the green light. A red lancer hit her broadside resulting in injuries to the driver of the lancer, not to mention a totaled car. The driver of the SUV admits not stopping or even trying to slow down for the light that turned yellow BEFORE she carelessly went through the intersection without consideration. (There are no red light cameras in Flagler Beach.) This womans SUV was less then 2 months old and as a driver of an SUV myself which I always keep new tires on, I know I would have been able to stop even in the rain. How fast could she have been going since she just pulled out of the parking lot. It is quite logical to think when she pulled out, she saw the light was yellow and instead of slowing down to wait for it, she speed up to beat it which resulted in injuries to the unsuspecting driver who had the green light and a total loss on the car.

    What is just as concerning is no one stopped to help. Where has humanity gone? If this were your child involved, would you hope someone would stop and help at least keep him/her calm?

    If you witnessed this accident, I urge you to do the right thing and come forward. Please report it to The Flagler County Sheriffs Dept. at 386-313-4911

    Red light cameras? I have no reason to fear them. I stop on yellow, not speed up hoping for the best.

    • Anonymous says:

      If that intersection had a red light camera with the yellow set at 3 seconds, and going the posted 30 mph on John Anderson, hundreds would get a ticket daily for obeying the law and driving across 100. That is why the camera system isn’t about safety. It is set up to catch everyone who is unlucky enough to enter the intersection legally just before the yellow, but can’t get across before the red because the yellow light is shortened. This is entrapment.

      • jack says:

        As long as your across that white line before the light turns red you won’t get a ticket, regardless

  25. The Truth says:

    When the red light cameras first went up, I wasn’t against them. In fact, I received a ticket back in May 2008. It was my own fault but I felt like they could be good for our city. Now, 6 years later, I realize how these cameras change our normal driving instinct for most of us. I realize there are people out there who drive through red lights and I don’t support this (obviously) at all.

    Unfortunately, these cameras do nothing but cause me to tense up every time I go through an intersection because I have to worry about it changing last minute. You then have to make a split decision because you know that if you miss by a half second you’re getting a ticket. On days like today (and the past few days) when the roads are wet it makes it even more stressful. I don’t speed or drive fast at all, I always drive the speed limit and sometimes under. I just don’t feel like these cameras are a good option for us and I hope the City does the right thing.

    • Just an observation says:

      You are absolutely right !!!!! Many people I have talked to have said the exact same thing !!!

  26. RHWeir says:

    Yeah, sure, 86 the red light cameras. But please, get out there and enforce the traffic laws. I have never seen so many drivers drive thru stop signs, make up there own speed limits, stop on green and go on red and purposely fail to yield. Case in point, Forest Grove to Old Kings heading south. The speed limit is 30 on Forest Grove, it goes to 50 on Old Kings and then decreases to 35. Once in a blue moon, the sheriff actually enforces the speed changes and they pull them over by the dozens. When I go 30 on Forest Grove, I get tailgated. Most of the time, it get some clown going 40 in front of me in the 50 on Old Kings. Heck, they go 40-45 on our residential street and the speed limit is 30 and no one ever stops them. So, get rid of the red light cameras? Yes, just please start enforcing basic traffic laws and make these people carry insurance. My wife and I have both been hit by drivers without insurance who tried to drive off. Palm Coast, such a place!

    • 5 more McDonald`s will make this a safe and financial Utopia right , the lights are rigged , they are costing us twice the fuel one would normally use to get across town , for those of you that dont understand how an engine works the longer its stopped and idling the more fuel it burns , then you have to re-accelerate to get back to speed limit more fuel burned , there is a reason you get more highway miles from your gas tank then city driving and a city that has you stopping at every single light is killing your fuel cost , your brake pads your time and its all so they hope you get frustrated and try and beat the next light so they can give you a ticket , it is disgusting the things this mayor and city counsel has done to milk money out of our pockets instead of doing their real job and bringing jobs to the community that a person can actually live on , the only jobs that pay that kind of money they`ve created is their ridiculous job committee service that the only jobs IOve read about is one of their wives or friends had a new position made up to pay THEM more money not the people of Palm Coast

  27. Bob Hamby says:

    “City Council member Bill McGuire, who ran on a pro-red-light-camera platform three years ago, wants to rethink the system.” ?????

    All of his supporters who campaigned for him in 2011 knew a different Bill McGuire. He (opposing Red Light Cameras) got elected! Is this a body double now occupying the Council seat?

    • Bill McGuire says:

      Bob: I am still a believer that the RLCs save life and limb. However, if the majority of the voters want them gone, so be it. My problem is that I can’t make a clear distinction between the yes and no citizens. This is not an issue that comes down to dollars and cents, we’re talking human life here. As I stated to Mr. Wolfe, I don’t want to vote to have them go away because the no people yelled louder than the yes people, therefore, a referendum would seem to be in order. I don’t want it on my conscience when a red light runner kills or maims a fellow citizen. Hope this clarifies my position for you. Bill

      • Bob Hamby says:

        Could you get an explanation from the highly paid PC attorney as to the Constitutional and legal basis for a city code violation citation being magically transformed to a traffic ticket for the PC citizens. With potential penalties for a code violation resulting in possible points on driving record and even suspension of drivers license I believe the Constitution’s 6th Amendment guarantees the right to face your accuser! But when the accuser is a camera??? We the taxpayers have a Sheriff that is responsible for motor vehicle law enforcement not PC code enforcement.

    • carol mikola says:

      Mr, Hamby, some food for thought…

      “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
      George Bernard Shaw

      “If you never change your mind, why have one?”
      Edward De Bono

      To answer your question, this is not a body double occupying a council seat. It’s an intelligent and thoughtful man who, based on his experience the last couple of years, has re-thought things and advocates allowing a community vote on the red light camera issue. You really view this as a problem? As President of the radical Ronald Reagan Assembly, you and your minions, who are attempting to take over the county and city government, are incapable of saying anything positive about anything or anyone involved in government in Flagler County or in Palm Coast. You have all lost your way.

      Perhaps you would take some advice…

      “To become an effective leader you must start with yourself, and do the necessary self examination that leads you to refine your personal qualities and strengthen your character. Without this, nothing will work.”
      Ronald Reagan

      “To be an effective leader, be careful not to become a prisoner of your own rigid perceptions of others and the world. Adhere closely to your core human values but open up your mind to different interpretations, views, and possibilities.”
      Ronald Reagan

  28. Rick" says:

    It’s about damn time these boneheaded council members are pulling their heads out of their well cellulited butts & finally started listening to the very people who pay their over compensated salaries.

  29. jack stewart says:

    let our votes talk…next election….vote them all out

  30. Just an observation says:

    The biggest problem with the cameras, and there are many, is the ridiculous amount of them in use in Palm coast and the outrageous fines they charge!
    There are over 40 cameras and they fine $158 for each violation.

  31. JoJo says:

    @ Donna Heiss

    You can’t correct stupid nor aggressive drivers or speedster’s. Red Light cameras are designed for one thing – a cash cow! It is one of the most prolific money making scheme devised and guess what – most of it is going to the camera company. There is a big difference in the seconds added or relaxed compared to when these lights were first put up. Why? Rules were relaxed and seconds added because of the outcry ever since. Reimburse people for the quick light change that was originally implemented.

  32. Steve Wolfe says:

    Hear ye, hear ye! Support Free Speech Here

    Hey people, it’s great you are reading FlaglerLive and joining in the discussions. Even greater if you also chip in and contribute in order to help FlaglerLive keep this a forum that is not financially beholden to any deep-pockets interests (something he would never do on principal). FlaglerLive does the best job of peeling back the veneer of local government to give anyone with a computer or phone a view of what our local reps are up to, and EVERYONE should be interested and informed. FlaglerLive fearlessly reports what it finds. Anyone can disagree and challenge him in the comment section. But this is exactly what the First Amendment was meant to provide all of us, and it is in the form of a technologically mature platform, accessible and interactive.

    I am a monthly supporter. I challenge everyone who reads this to click on the humbly posted ad at the bottom of the ads and choose to support the exercise of free speech. It strengthens our community when we exchange ideas after reading the results of the passionate pursuit of information that most of us would never otherwise see. And we can meet here to exchange ideas on our own schedule without having to dress up or risk getting a RLC ticket!

    This is an opportunity for you to benefit your community (rhyme intended) and direct your money to support something positive even as your money is yanked from your pocket by 5 guys who dole it out as they see fit. You deserve to know what they do with your money, and you can learn about it HERE. But it costs money to provide this vital service we all enjoy. Come on, go for it! Put your money where your fingers are! Let’s make this a truly community-supported source that works for all of us!

  33. PJ says:

    Jason De Lorenzo is the only person on the Board that has heard the outcry and complaints of the people he hs always voiced his opinion against them. Thank you Jason Delorenzo for representing the people.

    Bill Mcguire is about more rules and regulation, if Mcguire had his way Palm Coast would be one big HOA.

    These cameras don’t work and are not safe. They just simply taxed the reisdents of Palm Coast and Flagler County without a legit tax base. In other words we just got ripped off. Wake up Landon find monies elsewhere.

    This also affects our local businesses as there are a culture of people that when traveling will not stop in red light cities and yes there IS an App for that. ….PJ

    • Nancy N. says:

      Personally, I’m wondering how many of those people only getting a ticket once that Bill McGuire is bragging about aren’t people “changing their habits” but are actually people from out of town, unfamiliar with the presence of the cameras, who will never visit our city again after we fleeced them for a couple hundred bucks.

      I’d love to see statistics breaking down the zip codes of ticket recipients every month.

  34. Charles "Bub" Robson says:

    I’m glad I live in FB. but it would be nice to be able to vote the Cash Register Justice (RLC) out of this area. Hey PC if you want red light traffic enforcement get a City Police Dept. with about 10 Motorcycle cops, and then your UTC’s (traffic ticket) will be legal, not unconstitutional as the RLC’S. My 40 years as a cop thought me that a citizen has the right to confront its accusers. An RLC can not confront anything.

  35. Liar, liar, pants on fire says:

    Landon said on WNZF that the cameras are not money makers, and he said the city gets $700 max for each camera, and no more. If there are 47 cameras and the city gets $700 per camera isn’t the city then raking in $32,900 per month or $394,800 over a 12 month period? I call this a money maker my friend, and again see you Jim Landon pulling the wool over our eyes again.

    This wouldnt be such a hot potato if the local judges hadn’t weighed in on the matter. The city can’t help but be embarrassed. The city has so much more to be embarrassed about and all of this has been directed by Landon and Netts. Had a judge weighed in on the cover up the city just pulled relating to the citys elections by bullying our supervisor of elections we again would have probably learned they had not followed the law there as well. That’s why the city refused to ask for the formal opinion (they wanted to keep the truth hidden). The county attorney Al Hadeen wouldnt file for a declatory judgment as the supervisor requested, he himself didnt want the local judge to further embarass the big city because he sits on the top of the fence…he has to keep that good ol boy relationship in good standing, and he knew the local judges would not hesitate to further expose the citys wrong doings. The city will lie and deny until they can’t do so any more….just like now!!!

    How much of the money collected from the red light cameras has been shuffled around to ultimately pay for the new city hall that we tax payers voted that we didnt want? Perhaps the city manager, mayor and the councilmen should be paying for the city hall they feel they want and have to have. We voted No! I would like to see a impartial audit and investigation of the citys books! How come Landon’s man “Bo” has had his mouth shut during all of this the past several days?????

  36. Donna Heiss says:


    Yes I understand that. However, in the instance of a “beat out” of the light resulting in injury or fatality a red light camera would be most helpful since the 30 or so people who wittnessed the accident chose to not care.

  37. Raloh Belcher says:

    Red light cameras have me thinking about my driving habits at intersections. I’ll give it that much. And with the spate of pedestrians and bicyclists that have been getting clipped by vehicles not paying attention, I’m increasing my awareness at intersections even more. I hope the cameras are booted out of Palm Coast. Use LEOs for this purpose – even in a heavy handed manner. I’d support that with a couple of bucks more on property tax. Being charged by a machine has no place in our society. And with ATS getting a big chunk of the pie makes this even less appetizing.

    I applaud Councilman McGuire’s reservation on making a quick decision, to determine if it’s the will of the majority, via the opinion of a minority. Still my vote is to ditch those cameras.

    • Steve Wolfe says:

      Well you’ll get your wish as soon as property values increase. Your real estate millage rate has been increased by 17.45% above the rate of the previous decade, when values were higher. Thank your county commissioners for that. It costs more money to make bad real estate investments like buying a distressed moldy hospital for a sheriff’s office while building a new place for inmates, and giving away more viable property for rehab to someone who can’t afford to. Brilliant.

      • Rob says:

        @Steve Wolfe,
        Exactly. The city and county kept increasing the millage rate but kept bamboozling the taxpayer by saying, BUT your taxes have stayed the same. If my realestate values dropped significantly I don’t want my tax to stay the same. The tax should go down and if the governments were managed properly the cost of government should have been held down.
        Now when values begin inching back up are they going to reduce the millage rate?
        You bet they won’t.

        • Steve Wolfe says:

          Right Rob. Do we have a pattern here? Seems like when times are tight only the taxpayers have to reduce discretionary spending, while our governments blindly blow bucks.

          Government motto: “(Other people’s) Money Is No Object!”

          Or perhaps, “Never Saw ATax Increase We Didn’t Like”

          How about, “It’s Only (Other People’s) Money”

          Better yet, “What Recession?”

      • Ralph Belcher says:

        When I vote, among the red-flag items on my shopping list is to be suspect of those who seem to have a steady fire hose like stream of vile rhetoric. Just ‘spraying lead’ till they get what they want. Can’t hold any respect for that. But that’s just me, I’m also the newer blood of Palm Coast.

        • Steve Wolfe says:

          Understood, Ralph, and I am new blood, too. I had a meeting with City Councilman Bill McGuire today. Getting perspective is very important. I am going to look deeper into this and other city issues, not with any agenda but to learn. I would like to make the most educated remarks that I can.

          • Carol Mikola says:

            I’m very glad to hear that, Steve. I suspect that when Ralph spoke about “a stream of vile rhetoric”, he may have been referring to Dennis McDonald, one of the Flagler County “Ronald Reagan Republicans”. Since you are a vice-president of that organization, I’m hoping that, as you pursue the truth, you might consider resigning from that group and coming home to the real Republican Party.

  38. JG says:

    Who the hell thought it a good idea to start with? Stand up and admit it, and run for re-election on your decision.

    • Steve Wolfe says:

      The minutes of city council meetings are posted on the city’s website. Let us know what you find.

    • Ken Dodge says:

      Exploring alternatives to contracting with FCSO the city took a look a starting a municipal police department. To this end, an FCSO captain was hired to develop options, one of which was the reliance on red-light cameras to augment traffic enforcement efforts. The proposal was submitted to the council and took on a life of its own. No municipal agency was ever formed and the captain went back to his former duties with FCSO.

  39. confidential says:

    These cameras became a profit issue proliferation that has nothing to do with safety. The current council needs to be booted as often as each of them become incumbents. We have a “bunch pompous shut up and pay” individuals approving themselves and pumped up by the FCCOC, even a city hall after was defeated by referendum. Whatever we want them to do is not done and to start with McGuire is not the shadow of the one we elected back then. You try to talk to the dude and he looks at many of us with a disdain of the typical powered up political foe totally inflated by his own distorted reality same with Lewis. The five are always too worry about playing well the game for the few powers that be around here, other than protecting the rights of the majority of the citizenry. I am concerned about the lack of funds in the reserves to sustain and repair our drainage infrastructure around us that is caving in and already showing the erosion under private driveways and culvers that lead to canals or water ways. The unwelcome often sewer smell among us and the water lodged streets and swells when we have not had a hurricane in the last years and just some rains here and there. Utility reserve funds dilapidated in new infrastructure around Town Center and now around Palm Harbor redevelopment all to benefit the same legal team.
    I look at our new increased unemployment rate and wonder what the heck are we doing redoing the Palm Coast Parkway in this miserable economy….? So much of our hard earned and dwindling taxes to benefit the few.

  40. Nancy N. says:

    Anyone who still thinks that the cameras were installed for “safety” only needs to look at the timing of the installation of the second batch of cameras.

    We got the first batch of cameras and the city was raking in the cash from them. Then the state decided to change the law so that Palm Coast only collected a small fraction of their previous cha-ching from the cameras. And suddenly, the city council decided they needed to quadruple the number of cameras in the city to a number that would – coincidentally – bring the city’s take back up to what the city was making before the state started taking it all. The Sheriff stood in front of the city council and told them point-blank that we didn’t need the extra cameras. They ignored him, said “it’s for safety” and voted to install them anyway. And the city camera scam continued to ring up bucks again at the old rate. And there was much rejoicing among the lords, until the peasants rose up.

    Nope, it’s not about the money at all…

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