Flagler County Commissioner Alan Peterson said he thought sending a letter to the city of Palm Coast regarding its red light camera placements was a mistake Monday at the Flagler County Board of County Commissioners’ regular meeting.
“I personally think that this letter is a mistake,” Peterson said. “I feel that it’s involving the county, no matter how politely it is stated, in matters that are solely the responsibility of the city.”
The letter, which was drafted at the commissioners’ request, expresses concern about the placement of red light cameras at intersections on State Road 100, saying those cameras alienate Flagler County residents outside Palm Coast who would rather avoid the cameras altogether.
The letter, signed by Barbara S. Revels, chairwoman of the board, says citizens have asked that they can travel and do their shopping between Flagler Beach and Bunnell without meeting the cameras.
“While we fully recognize the city’s right to install cameras anywhere within your city boundaries, even on state highways, we ask that you consider a request to not place these cameras along the State Road 100 corridor,” the letter reads.
Peterson said that while he doesn’t like the red light cameras, he understands citations he gets from them are a result of breaking the law.
“I think this is a city of Palm Coast issue, not one the county should be involved in,” Peterson said.
The rest of the board, however, supported the delivery of the letter.
“It’s not different from the city contacting us and saying we should reconsider something,” Revels said. “It’s just mutual governments talking back and forth. It’s a simple request.”
Revels said she felt duty-bound to raise the issue with the city of Palm Coast because of the number of complaints she’s had from constituents.
“I received an email right before this meeting started from a family that said when the red light cameras were installed in the core of Palm Coast, they stopped going there,” she said. “They felt trapped in their own homes, and they worry how it might affect tourism.”
Other board members raised the issues they’d shared in the past: George Hanns worried that visitors who received a violation might be too upset to return to Flagler County again, while Milissa Holland said the request was “reasonable” to ask of the city.
A motion to send the letter passed 4-1, with Peterson voting against it.
“For this council to be involved,” Peterson said, “is to suggest that we think that individuals coming into the jurisdiction of Palm Coast don’t have to obey the traffic regulations that the residents of Palm Coast have to obey.”