The County Commission, after getting a strong backlash, on Wednesday reversed itself on allowing the sheriff's office to use speed cameras. Those caught would have been sent $50 tickets in the mail.
Voting in favor last Wednesday were Commissioners Larry Henry, Chester Bankston, Greg Beck, Marty Haynes and Jim Fields.
Opposed were Commissioners Joe Graham, Fred Skillern, Tim Boyd, and Warren Mackey.
This time only Commissioner Beck supported it.
He said he believed the cameras would help improve the safety of officers on narrow county roads and of children in school zones.
He also said the $50 fee would be much cheaper for citizens than the price of a ticket from radar, which can cost anywhere from $154 to over $400. The tickets from cameras would also not have gone on anyone's driver's license or insurance.
However, Commissioner Henry said this made it less of a penalty. He compared it to a tax and said it was more of a fee than a law enforcement issue.
Commissioner Boyd said, "Programs like these do nothing to help Hamilton County's reputation." He pointed out that people from out of state spend millions of dollars going through Hamilton County on the way to other places, such as Florida. He said this would make people avoid the area.
He continued, "This is a government overreach. This body should be voting on not what the government can do but what the government should do."
Commissioner Bankston said the cameras would make people "guilty until proven innocent."