As a result, the bucks continue to roll in and the council fiddles while Rome burns. (Yes, we're trying to use as many cliches as possible to sound as silly as the council often acts). KRQE Channel 13 is reporting that the city's take in 18 months is equal to over $3 MILLION. A Couple of months ago the city had collected a gross amount of over $6 MILLION. That's our money folks and here's the truth... not a single criminal was caught.
To make matters worse, those knuckleheads don't even care where the money is going! The only red light camera legislation to actually get to a vote was Councilor Harris' audit proposal and it was defeated 5-4 (ABQ Tribune) with Councilors Mayer, Sanchez, Benton, Winter, and Loy voting against passage.
What the council doesn't seem to get is that the public generally does not like the Almighty's Money Makers. As Councilor Winter said in his town hall announcement, "people have the right to determine how they are going to be policed." Not to mention the fact that the city has found a way to dispense with common concepts like proof beyond a reasonable doubt, innocent until proven guilty, due process, and making the punishment fit the crime - concepts that most reasonable people find appealing. Ah... What the heck? Who cares? The program is paying for itself!
Now Chief Schultz is counting on apathy and fatalism to make us accept being fleeced by the city (ABQ Tribune). Seems that after about 3 years we'll all get used to the red light toll system and even become fond of forking over our hard earned cash. He may even be right, after all when people are held captive against their will they eventually come to view their captors with affection. It's called the Stockholm Syndrome.
Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in an abducted hostage, in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the danger (or at least risk) in which the hostage has been placed. Stockholm syndrome is also sometimes discussed in reference to other situations with similar tensions, such as battered person syndrome, rape cases, child abuse cases, and bride kidnapping. - from wikipedia.orgBack to the deck chairs... Councilor Loy (who we almost wish was running so that we could hang these "photo enforced" intersections around his political neck) maintains "reduc[ing] these fines - that's outrageous" (ABQ Journal - Subscription Required). What's "outrageous" is that he was ever elected. Wait a second... he wasn't. Four years ago he was the default choice of District 8 and has never run against an opponent. (Splains a lot don't it?)
Bride kidnapping? Now that's funny! Now we understand what that APD recruiting poster is all about.
Marty doesn't get it, the council doesn't get it, and Chief Schultz certainly doesn't get it. MOST PEOPLE DON'T WANT THIS SYSTEM! Even police officers are generally against it unless they are required by the 5th floor to attend meetings to support the red light scam-era program.
You can lower the fines. You can give an option of community service. You can even try to wait until we all suffer from a collective abducted bride syndrome. But you can't change the fact that the system is wrong and that it has struck the iceberg of public opinion.