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Palm Coast Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2013 6 years ago

LETTERS: Residents fed up with red light cameras


Red light fees are too high for a working family in Palm Coast

Dear Editor:
We are all aware of the financial issues states and cities are facing in this recession, but to try to recoup these funds off the backs of residents of Palm Coast is sad.

The red-light fine of $158 is crippling to a Palm Coast family, especially when it is a questionable offense. But, for the city to increase the fine when a citizen tries to fight the ticket is wrong in every sense of the word. The city has now resorting to using fear against the residents it claims to be sworn to protect.

This major issue is now beginning to cause accidents instead of preventing them. Drivers now refer to Belle Terre as the road from hell. The fact that there are multiple red light cameras is causing drivers to always be in fear when just trying to drive home to their families. They are breaking hard, speeding up, all sort of things because they are so scared of getting a ticket, which, more than likely, they cannot pay. These situations will always trickle down to other things.

The average resident of Palm Coast does not make a high enough weekly wage for this type of fine. The fine is so high, a resident must make the decision to pay his utilities, feed his family or pay a red light fine.

Also, the overall outlook of this red light campaign was to help. This should not hurt our residents. It was recently discussed that residents are very much considering moving and relocating away from Palm Coast. Some residents, especially renters, feel it is not worth it to live in the area due to the overkill of so many cameras. They can live somewhere else without the hassle. Please take into consideration the red light issue is a lot bigger than people think. Residents in other states are very ware of the red light situation.

At one time, we were the best place to live. Now, we are known as the city with no corporations, no future employment, just a lot of fast food joints for jobs for high school children.

We need to lower these fines to about $55 and also cut down on the number of cameras to help prevent accidents these cameras are causing.

To deliberately threaten residents with a high increase of the fine, because as Americans they choose to challenge this fine, is bringing this country down. The city is also depending on its citizens to be afraid to fight in fear of losing their job or wages for the day if they choose to fight this citation.

This letter is a plea to all city officials. I am sure we can come to solutions which will benefit our residents, yet keep our city on the road to financial recovery.

Teresa Schlicht
Palm Coast

Editor’s Note: The fine for a red light citation is set by the state of Florida. The new law allows for municipalities to charge up to $250 on top of the $158 citation to account for court fees if a resident challenges the citation. City officials have indicated they prefer an appeal fee in the range of $40.

Residents are sick of being bullied on red light issue

Dear Editor:
I have two comments on your June 15 issue. First, about the red light camera article on the front page, Mayor Jon Netts “warned the public” that a “different City Council could impose higher fees (on red light camera violations) if it chooses.” Warned? Perhaps he has become too complacent in office and has lost touch with the people he serves.

He neglects to realize there is another alternative. He and the City Council could be voted out of office by citizens who are sick of being bullied, (who has a thousand dollars to pay an attorney to fight a $198 ticket?) and elect candidates who will get rid of the red light cameras.

Also, I applaud the letter by Mark Dormann who points out the shelves of new books in the library, some with multiple copies, which espouse wacko, paranoid, survivalist themes. Who orders this garbage anyway? What happened to legitimate, constructive literature?

Bill Campion
Palm Coast

Editor’s Note: “Warned” was not Netts’ word, it was our interpretation. Netts has stated he is opposed to raising any fees associated with the red light cameras, but he reminded residents that today’s laws only last as long as the City Council agrees with them. Future City Councils have the authority to reverse their decisions and could go with the state maximum.

Library has plenty of left-wing books to balance it out

Dear Editor:
A recent letter from a writer about our wonderful Flagler Library needed a response.

I went to the library after I read the letter from Mr. Dormann, and here is what I found: Several books on the Kennedys, more on the Clintons, newer ones on the Obamas, references to FDR; heck, there was even one on Hitler. How much more "left" would he like the library to be?

Bill Nelson
Palm Coast


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