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Opinion
Palm Coast Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 8 years ago

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 1.19.2011

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+ Increasing yellow-light time is safer than red-light cameras
Dear Editor:
With regard to the red-light camera contract, I want to voice my opposition to this program on grounds of safety. The National Motorists Association has evidence that simply increasing the yellow-light duration can dramatically decrease the number of red-light violations and accidents.

The association also states, on blog. motorists.org: “Some local governments have ignored the safety benefit of increasing the yellow-light time and decided to install red-light cameras, shorten the yellow-light duration, and collect the profits instead.”

There was a follow-up story to this, stating that increased yellow-light times make ticket cameras unnecessary.

Although both these stories are from May 2008, the study results are still pertinent today. Denver’s engineering director, Brian Mitchell, said: “Numerous studies on red-light cameras show that while they can reduce the number of more serious T-bone type crashes, they more often result in a spike in rear-end collisions. Aurora, Colo., put them in two years ago, and the number of tickets and accidents has gone up.”

Denver officials finally conceded that increased yellow-light times were best.

I have written the mayor and the City Council to share this vital information. I encourage anyone who gets a ticket for running a red light to take it to court. Demand the database from the vendor of the camera program. This isn’t only a moneymaking racket for the city — it’s dangerous. And, no, I have never received a ticket for running a red light — anywhere!

Debbie LeBlanc
Palm Coast

+ Out-of-county contractors should join with local contractors
Dear Editor:
Everyone knows by now that our entire construction industry is practically at a standstill, and government projects now under construction have been awarded to out-of-county contractors.

(Note: The most important reason is that not all local contractors have the experience to qualify.)

Therefor, our county and city should research “joint venture” contracts. Prior to the contract bid dates, whether it be an “invitation only” and/or public notices bidding, the out-of-county contractors shall form partnerships with qualified local contractors. The local contractors shall employ all the qualified tradesmen/women. The out-of-county contractors may have his field office personnel, project manager, superintendent, foreman and special personnel to install work not normally installed by the local tradesmen/women.

Walter Albano
Palm Coast

WHERE FLAGLER COUNTY RESIDENTS WORK
I would like to respond to Mr. Albano’s letter of a few weeks ago regarding out-of-county residents working in Flagler County.

To quote Albano: “According to County Administrator Craig Coffey: ‘Some employees grew up in the county and bought homes outside of county lines.’ This is a very poor excuse; I do not think they are entitled to a free ride and should pay at least a percentage of what their coworkers pay in county and city taxes.”

Before we start talking about “free rides,” I think it is important to remember that many of our Flagler County residents work in other counties, as well.

The figures mentioned by Coffey only refer to county employees, and I know there are many in private-sector jobs in Flagler that come from other counties, too.

But please take note of these stats from the January 2012 issue of Florida Trend that show that there are also many residents of our county that work in other counties.

It works both ways.

Where Flagler County Residents Work
Flagler County 56.0 %
Volusia County 24.0 %
Duval County 8.2 %
St. Johns County 7.5%
Orange County 4.3%
Clay, Putnam,
Seminole < 1.0%

Source: www.floridajobs.org

In closing, I would also challenge the statement that the employees who work here and live elsewhere don’t “spend their salaries at our local shops and gas stations.”

I am certain that they do.

I previously worked in the county to the south of us and often spent my dollars there. When you need gas, you need gas.

Just the facts and my two cents.

Christine Speno
Palm Coast

— Send letters of general interest on local issues to [email protected].

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