Monday, November 29, 2010

Not so fast with that camera removal, boys

Oh, and you only thought the pesky little matter of the red light cameras in Houston was done with the city's decision to take them down.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes injected himself into the mix when he signed an injunction halting the removal of the cameras until the court rules on the validity of the referendum in which voters said no to the continued use of the cameras.

The litigation before the court seems to have little actual relevance as both the City of Houston (the plaintiff) and ATS (the defendant) are seeking to void the referendum.

The only real issue, it seems to me, is whether or not the city is in breach of its contract with ATS. If following the will of the populace means that the city is in breach of the contract, then shame on the people who obligated the city in the first place. If that be the case then Mayor Parker needs to negotiate a termination of the contract with ACS so that everyone can go about their merry way. Regardless of whether the vote means the city is in breach, the cameras need to come down.

Maybe the contract excuses noncompliance as the result of an Act of God. Since the GOP and their religious minions swept the day in Harris County, I think the city might just have an argument that its cancellation of the contract isn't a breach.

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