Last night KOAT Target 7 broke the story that despite promises that the PROFIT would be used for public safety, the PROFIT was instead used to balance the city budget. This morning the Journal carried the same story (Subscription). It seems that Councilors Mayer and Winter aren't too happy that the red light green has been used by the city to make ends meet.
As far as we know this money was always set to be dumped into the general fund. Frankly, it doesn't make a bit of difference which fund the money is headed for. All of the money is sent to the city and its use is ultimately their responsibility. That means the Almighty Mayor and the council.
The councilors go on to complain that they were deceived stating that administration has been "misleading from the beginning." We couldn't agree more. Chavez and his minions claimed that the program was about public safety - it wasn't. They claimed that accidents went down - they didn't. They said the money would be used for the program and public safety - it hasn't been. They say that they'll create a fund for the PROFIT - it won't matter.
We're also wondering just how it is that the city found itself needing to play games with scam-era money in order to balance the budget. We know that spending has gone through the roof since Marty took over, but how did we end up running a deficit that needed to be covered by scam-era revenue?
Last week APD spokesman John Walsh told KRQE News 13 that Marty's scam-eras had caught APS bus drivers running red lights at intersections. The implication was that without the program we wouldn't know that APS bus drivers were endangering our children by running red lights.
We'd like you to think about this a bit... As you know, no one on a school bus (except for the bus driver) is wearing a seat belt. We're pretty sure that a school bus weighs substantially more than your average Prius making it more than a little difficult to stop one on a dime. Do you really want bus drivers stopping short? We can just picture APS students learning to fly - over the seats, their classmates, past the bus driver, and through the front windshield - just so APS and a bus driver avoid a scam-era citation.
We've talked about this before, but we still believe that there are times when it's safer for everyone if a vehicle "runs" a red; particularly when stopping short would endanger lives. These are times when a driver must use their judgment and when it's absolutely imperative that a police officer is present to use their judgment in determining whether or not the driver was correct. Scam-eras will never be able to judge a situation and Marty's Kangaroo Courts are designed to make money not hear cases.
Our Eyes tell us that the 11th floor is putting pressure on Chief Schultz and APD to make the case that the cameras are necessary and blames them for the current situation. We'd think that if Marty and crew were really serious about a "task force" he wouldn't be pressuring Ray, and Ray wouldn't be using John Walsh to bash APS bus driver in the name of our children's safety.
(Sidebar)Look... if the esteemed councilors want to fix the problem with the scam-era system they have the power to do so. All they have to do is convince four other councilor's that Marty's scam has gone on long enough. To date all they've done is hold town halls and make minor reductions in fines. We've compared it to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic and so it is.
Our B.S. meter always goes off when politicians start using children to prove a tangential point. It's usually a distraction and a deception.
The Mayer (Councilor Mayer) claims that she supports the system but would like lower fines. When thieves break into your house and steal everything but your brand new TV - you're happy they missed the TV but still pissed that they got the rest of your stuff. Mayer's typical idiocy fails to recognize that the whole system is based on deceit and has been an utter failure.
Meanwhile, Councilor Winter has held his town hall and heard the vehement complaints of constituents and the general public, but has failed to act. We generally like the councilor, but this is a time for action not compromise.
The Mayor and his CEO Bruce Perlman have created a corrupt system designed to bring in revenue. Remember, these are the guys that brought us ABQ PAC, a political action committee created to fill Marty's political coffers and his pockets too. If there was ever any doubt that this whole thing is about money (which there shouldn't have been considering Marty's track record), even the most naive, deaf, dumb, and blind supporter of the Almighty Mayor should be having second thoughts.