Councilmembers Speak Out About Election Results

Now that voters have spoken, what does the City of Houston do next? Bill Stamps reports on the future of red light cameras and the city's infrastructure.
"I want to be clear, I was not opposed to us funding infrastructure in the city of Houston. I simply wanted it to be a little more transparent and a little more predictable in how we were going to do that. We all know that the city had an issue in terms of money and its aging infrastructure. This certainly now gives us an availability to now fix that."

That’s City Councilman Jarvis Johnson, one of many council members who took the opportunity to weigh in on the outcome of yesterday’s election. There was never a consensus on proposition one among the council members but now that it has passed they all agreed they needed to work together for the good of the people and the City of Houston. Here are Council Members Melissa Noriega and Co Bradford.

"If this indeed prevails it isn’t by very much, there are mixed feelings in the community. I think it may end up being one of the most important things we do. I think it’s terribly important that we do it right. And I think people have different opinions on what that is."

"How do we make this happen? Now that the voters have given us the authority and committed to funding the endeavor, how do we decide as a body? How is it going to work?" 

On the defeat of prop three, Mayor Annise Parker couldn’t hide her frustration.

"My advice to citizens is to stop running red lights."

She said she didn’t know what people had against cameras taking pictures of people running red lights. And she and the council will have an even bigger problem, trying to make up for the ten million dollars the program provided to the police department.

"With or without the passage of proposition three, our budget will require some further spending cuts and now that we know about prop 3 the police department’s budget will require some spending cuts as well."

Mayor Parker was asked if officers could be laid off.

"We are a service organization. We’re not going to lay off firefighters. We’re not going to lay off policemen, but the ability to fund everything else in the city is in question."

As for the cameras themselves, the mayor says they won’t be turned off right away due to contract obligations with the company that makes them. She says city lawyers will have to meet with their lawyers and reach some kind of agreement without the issue going to court. In the meantime, Parker says if you see a camera at an intersection, don’t run a red light. It’s probably still working.