Swisstack has spoken publicly against red-light cameras, saying he doesn’t think residents should be fined in order to support police and firefighters. He said he remains reluctant on the cameras but said if the primary reason for them is public safety and not revenue — then he’s open to discuss the issue. “The cameras have to be for public safety — this has to be about enhancing public safety because right now we can’t hire the number of cops we need,” he said.
As part of his campaign, he also said he was against red light cameras. Then on April 26th, he apparently was for them.
Swisstack advocated for additional red-light cameras and more city fees, but no pool closures.
The City of Rio Rancho is facing a negative budget and City Manager James Jimenez recommended red light cameras as a way to increase income for the city. Tonight the City Council will vote on implementing red light cameras and other city budget items and I have no doubt that they will vote to install them.
You might think that Mayor Swisstack or the City Council might want to wait for the results of the UNM study on red light cameras, the study that will determine if the Mayor of Albuquerque will shut them down. Or they might consider that the State of New Mexico has shut down a few cameras in Albuquerque that were on state roads. Or that the State of Arizona has shut down speed cameras. When you have a budget shortfall and you decide to implement red light cameras, the cameras have nothing to do with safety. Instead it’s a way to fleece the residents with a tax without calling it a tax.
No doubt RedFlex is salivating. They will be the likely benefactor as they will probably make a profit off every ticket issued.
There’s a lot I like about living in Rio Rancho. After visiting the Phoenix area being without red light and speed cameras is one of them. Tonight the City of Rio Rancho will likely vote to implement them. I suppose there is a chance they won’t but I’m not optimistic.
Update: Red Light cameras have passed. Councilman Timothy Crum:
“The intention behind the red light camera is certainly to reduce crime, reduce traffic citations and protect the community,”