A proposal for a City of Lakeland Creative Economy Grant Program
Red light fine money
back up for grabs
Red light camera fines, recently freed from legal uncertainty, should be spent to match grants for local artists and art groups “in order to maintain Lakeland’s desirability as a place to live, work and be,” Lakeland resident and local politics blogger Michael Maguire suggested.
Public Investment in the Creative Economy
Among the notions that might occur to citizens is one that wonders how new initiatives come before the commission.
It can clearly come from the community, as it did in the case of the Confederate Monument, but that seems to have been driven by a national movement that eventually made its way to Lakeland.
Inasmuch as commissioners are prohibited from discussing city business with each other except in public meetings, it seems that it would be difficult to gauge support or interest in an objective that any of them think is important or beneficial.
As an individual, I appeared before the commission on Monday (May 21st) to propose a matching grant program for public investment in the creative economy. Watch the video.
Supreme Court gives green light
to red-light camera operations
TALLAHASSEE — Florida drivers hoping the state Supreme Court will toss out their red-light camera tickets won’t be getting their fines returned.
The court rejected an argument Thursday that the city of Aventura gave too much power to an outside vendor to determine whether photos caught by the cameras were traffic violations.
The ruling preserves the state’s red light camera law, which some lawmakers have unsuccessfully fought to rescind in recent years.
It's all about the city's communication
City Finance Director Michael Brossart provided the data below listing all recipients of funds generated by red-light-camera operations in 2009 and 2010. The City discontinued allocation of the funds in response to potential litigation and liability for refunds and/or damages.
Use the arrows to view the slides from a PowerPoint presentation made to the city commission recently and click on the map below to view the red-light camera locations.
A lot of moms are glad that technology is there
“At the end of the day, these people are breaking the law and all we’re trying to do is enforce the law and protect the public,” Lakeland Police Chief Larry Giddens told the commission before they voted. “I think we have to look at technology to do a better job — they catch every red-light runner. I’d have to have a motorman sit there all day long.”
Nobody likes them, but it changes their behavior
Red-light camera contract renewed, six to Dunn
Once again, Commissioner Dunn stands alone.
This time in opposition to renewing - and extending - the contract with American Traffic Solutions to operate and maintain 18 red-light cameras at 11 intersections within the city.
Commissioners Troller and Read also expressed concerns but after approving a motion by Mr. Troller to direct the city staff to find additional tools and technology to increase transparency and safety, the contract recommendation was approved by a vote of six to one.
The conversation was spirited and engaging and included comments from LPD Chief Larry Giddens as well as the city's traffic operations manager, Angelo Rao.
Highlights are presented here. The entire, unedited discussion can be viewed on the city's Vimeo page.
We need more transparency
Why not use the money to hire motor patrol officers?
Scott Franklin, Bill Mutz, and Larry Giddens
Money or safety?
Trust the experts
A Ledger Editorial
We are not sure what’s more disappointing: that the Florida Senate failed to take any action on a House bill that soon would have rid the state of red-light cameras. Or that bringing a brand new majority on board the Lakeland City Commission failed to bring new thinking about a misguided policy.
Either way, regrettably, these pole-mounted menaces’ unblinking eye will remain with us for the foreseeable future.