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The Sound of Ideas

Fighting City Hall

Posted Thursday, July 22, 2010

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Traffic cameras are an annoying fact of life for many drivers, who aren't smiling when see their picture, accompanied by a ticket for a hundred bucks, in the mail. A group of angry Garfield Heights residents is on a drive to vote out traffic cameras. And while they're at it, they want to trash new garbage collection fees, too. Elsewhere across the region, folks are taking aim at local taxes. It turns out, you can fight city hall. But can you win? We'll hear from people who've fought and won Thursday morning at 9:00.

Tags

Government/Politics, Other, Community/Human Interest

Guests

Frank Wagner, former Garfield Heights City Council president
Warner Mendenhall, Akron attorney
Scott Ross, board member, COAST

Leave a Comment

Please follow our community discussion rules when composing your comments.

Anne from Shaker 8:56 AM 7/22/10

Comment before the discussion begins....Local taxes pay for local services like police, fire, EMS, trash collection, street & public spaces repair & maintenance, etc. While it is difficult for many to pay ever-increasing taxes, which of the local services would one give up? ...A safe community? ...A repaired and functioning community? ...A garbage-free community? Etc…

Arron 9:18 AM 7/22/10

I thought the speeding crime was associated with a person and not a vehicle.  If a relative or friend is using my car and speeds, regardless of right or wrong, I do not believe I should receive a ticket for their speeding (and am not sure that is legal).  Is it?

jim in solon. 9:20 AM 7/22/10

Making policing a revenue stream is a slippery slope. If it is really about safety, then give the money made to charity. 

as to Dean’s comment that we should obey the law--how would he feel about cameras on every street corner?

Diane 9:44 AM 7/22/10

We had to drive to and from the Cleveland Clinic every day for 37 days for treatments for my husbands cancer.  He was usually throwing up in the car do to the treatments so, I was just concentrating on getting him there as smoothly as possible.  We did not see the signs or I would have slowed down.  The tickets did not start coming in until a month later after 5 tickets built up.  We were expected to pay $500 by a certain date or fines would accumulate.  My husband was out of work do to the cancer treatments.  There are so many patients coming and going to the clinic who are not from this area.  I understand dangerous speeding but we were not doing that.  The area is questionable too...very sneaky.  Thought paying thousands to the clinic was enough but having to pay $500 to the city just added salt to the very large wound.

Cleveland Resident 9:46 AM 7/22/10

I take issue with the Trash collection fee that Cleveland is enacting.  I compost and take ALL of my recyclables to the City recycling drop off points.  This means that I have very little ‘trash’ for collection.

The Sewer District has a credit system built in to their new fees.  This means that residents can obtain a credit on their fee if they build a rain garden or use rain barrels.

Why can’t Cleveland residents get trash credits for recycling and composting.

Anna
North Collinwood

steve bango 10:04 AM 7/22/10

WITH REGUARD TO THE MAYOR’S COMMENT THAT THE TRAFFIC CAMERAS HAVE SLOWED DOWN SPEEDERS & THAT HE’S ACTUALLY GOING TO END UP CUTTING THE AMOUNT OF TICKETS ISSUED, SOMEONE NEEDS TO ASK THE QUESTION.  WHEN OR IF HE ACCOMPLISHES THIS HOW WILL WE PAY FOR THE COST OF THE CARS & EQUIPMENT HE PURCHASED?!  MAYBE THE CITIZENS OF GARFIELD SHOULD DRIVE OUTSIDE THE CITY TO DO THEIR SHOPPING & SUCH HOW WILL THAT HELP THE LOCAL ECONOMY?  MAYBE WE SHOULD ALL SLOW DOWN TO 20 MPH ON ANY STREET IN GARFIELD & TURN OUR 4 WAY FLASHERS ON IN PROTEST. THIS IS A FARCE!

Jim Hess 11:19 AM 7/22/10

we didn’t get a chance to vote for this in Parma Hts. it was dumped in our laps.. period
the widows & Widowers living alone pay the same as everyone else , though only have 1/10 as much rubbish....a friend on council, Ha !! Rubber stamps…

Colleen 10:59 PM 7/22/10

In listening to your show today, Garfield Hts mayor Vic Collova defended their traffic camera policy and stated that they only are ticketing when infraction was 10 miles over speed limit.  I recently received a $100 ticket for 27 in a 20 mile limit zone. Isn’t this a contradiction to the mayor’s stated policy?  With his statement, I plan on challenging this ticket and am now equipped with the defense to do so.

Stan from Cleveland 11:21 PM 7/25/10

Camera ticket laws/ordinances are written with an “assumption” of correctness. Meaning that the “owner” of the vehicle is assumed to be driving the vehicle and liable for the offense.

In order to overcome the assumption of correctness, the law/ordinance provides that the owner of the vehicle submit an affidavit that he/she was not driving the vehicle and did not give permission to someone else to drive the vehicle at the time the ticket was issued.

The solution is to deny driving the vehicle and provide a name and address of the mystery driver who drove the vehicle without your permission in an affidavit form.

TAKE THE TIME TO READ ORDINANCE, IT WILL PROVIDE CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO OVERCOME THE ASSUMPTIONS.

The affidavit will be submitted to the camera ticket company, which will deny the applicability of the affidavit. Go to your scheduled hearing and provide a copy of the affidavit to the hearing officer. The hearing officer will probably find you guilty. The hearing officer SHOULD provide, but if not REQUEST, the administrative information on how to appeal the hearing officer’s decision. Go file your appeal with the local municipal court. Need additional information on how to proceed in this manner? The information is free.

Jay Westbrook, Cleveland City Council 7:27 AM 7/26/10

In today’s Sound of Ideas, a caller named Claire complained that her husband received a speeding ticket from the Enforcement Camera on Clifton Blvd. in Cleveland. That location is in my ward and a few blocks from where I live. Claire claimed that her husband was traveling an unfamiliar route on the West Shoreway and got the ticket just as he was coming off the 50 mile and hour limit on the Shoreway.

I happened to be on Clifton while listening to her complaint. I drove the distance from the Enforcement Cameras to the intersection of Clifton and the Shoreway. It is .7 of a mile, more than 11 blocks. The cameras are calibrated to detect speeds in excess of 10 miles over the posted limit (35 mph). That means that Claire’s husband was traveling at a speed greater than 45 miles per hour in a residential district with posted speed of 35 miles per hour.

Let me add that residents of Clifton and West Boulevard (where another enforcement camera is posted) have been extremely pleased with the traffic calming effect of the cameras on their residential streets.

Thank you for making note of this added information.

Jay Westbrook
Cleveland City Council

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Every weekday at 9:00 AM (EST), The Sound of Ideas reports the news, explains the news, and sometimes makes news. The Cleveland Press Club awarded it “Best Radio Show” in Ohio and thousands daily find it to be an indispensable source of information about what’s most important to Northeast Ohioans.

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