Riverside council members voted to allow two more months before deciding whether to cancel the city’s red light camera program, opting to study it further and look at ways to get it out of deficit mode.
The council’s 4-3 vote to keep the cameras for now was a last-minute reversal of course that came early Wednesday, July 11, after a marathon Tuesday night meeting. With Councilwoman Nancy Hart absent, it was up to Mayor Ron Loveridge to cast his third tie-breaking vote in 18 years as mayor.
City staff and the council’s public safety committee had recommended ending the camera contract. Councilmen Andy Melendrez, Paul Davis and Chris Mac Arthur, who agreed with that recommendation, cast the dissenting votes Wednesday.
Councilman Steve Adams, a former police officer, championed the camera program. He rebutted colleagues’ concerns about cost by asking rhetorically whether the police and fire departments are money-makers.
“We can’t afford more cops. This system helps save lives,” Adams said.
BY ALICIA ROBINSON
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