LIDAR Pitch Confuses Me - And Response

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I'm confused about the LIDAR laser traffic cameras, perhaps someone can help. In presenting the idea Sheriff Jim Hammond says it costs more money to have a deputy patrolling a road than a deputy patrolling a road operating a LIDAR laser gun. That statement confuses me. If an officer must be present to operate the LIDAR gun than what's the difference than an officer being present without the LIDAR gun? An officer is an officer. Seems to me no money is being saved in that regard. If so, can someone explain how?  

Also, to fund a traffic school would take a lot of tickets considering the portion to fund the school would only be $12.50 of the $50 ticket. Further, what's an estimated percentage of tickets to go unpaid? That would be an unfunded revenue source for the traffic school. If the funding falls into the negative that means the County Commission is left to pick up the tab using taxpayer dollars. 

My concern is after the current election cycle will this be presented again by the sheriff or a county commissioner that is supportive of the program? 

I and most voters (judging by this week's response) do not want more traffic cameras - of any kind. Not only today, in the heat of an election cycle, but next year as well. 

I've heard some in support of the laser cameras claim the Bible in Romans 13 allows the sheriff and commissioners to implement this program as citizens are to be submissive to government. I guess those same people would also claim Romans 13 allows the government to monitor your home, set your thermostat and track your phone calls and emails. I seriously doubt that was the Apostle Paul's intention. 

Two thumbs up to those commissioners that voted no to begin with and a thumb up to those that will change their vote Wednesday. I just wish the sheriff didn't continue in his support. I guess we have to respectfully agree to disagree. 

Since it is election time, remember early voting is April 16-May 1st and election day is May 6. 

Only Republicans are running for sheriff and several county commission seats. If you don't vote in the Republican primary you will not have another option. Your voice will not be heard. Vote in the Republican primary. 

George Jackson 

* * * 

I'm not surprised that Mr. Jackson, a current sheriff's employee and campaign manager to Chris Harvey (opponent to Sheriff Hammond), would post a response like this.  I'm not saying I disagree, but he is leaving out the people that are also responsible, in a large part, and who have the power to make this happen after the election...the County Commission who would have to vote this is, and did vote this in, though they are now changing their mind after public outcry. 

The county commissioners who voted for this have had over two months to talk to the public about it, but instead hurried it through in one day, rather than their two-day (one week apart) process.  Yes, this was the sheriff's proposal, and if you are going to try to unseat just him, then of course you would not mention the other five people who actually hold the purse.   

This was a terrible idea, and holding one of six people accountable is just dirty politics.  I will look for Mr. Jackson's next piece asking for the replacement of Larry Henry (who is running for another office and I'm sure not supported by Mr. Jackson), Marty Haynes, Chester Bankston, Jim Fields, and Greg Beck because, as he has suggested, they are probably just waiting until after the election to approve this when public outcry will no longer be an issue. 

Sylvia Gainer
East Ridge


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