Out of Control Policy Blog

Greedy Governments II

DC's Mayor Williams really likes those traffic cameras that help officials fine drivers:

    "There is an urgent need for the approval of this contract to ensure the continued processing of District tickets and the collection of District revenues," Mr. Williams wrote in a Dec. 16 letter to D.C. Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp.

    In the letter, Mr. Williams was seeking support for the District's $14.6 million contract with ACS State and Local Solutions, which the council later approved. ACS, a private company, handles fines for the city's automated traffic-enforcement program.

While the mayor made it clear that he has an urgent need to grab revenue, he didn't express much urgency about improving public safety. In fact, he didn't even mention public safety. Oops:

    A spokeswoman for Mr. Williams yesterday said that the mayor's views about red light and speed cameras haven't changed and that he probably should have included "an extra sentence about public safety" in his letter to Mrs. Cropp.

    "The mayor has always felt that with the red-light cameras and the other equipment we use to catch people who are speeding, safety is our foremost goal," said Sharon Gang, spokeswoman for Mr. Williams.

We've seen this kind of government greed before.

Then again, maybe we should cut the mayor some slack. After all, he's got to pay for that baseball stadium.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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