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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

City asked to disable two red-light cameras


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Email addresses cameras at two intersections

BROOKSVILLE - Five months after Hernando County commissioners decided they wanted two city red-light cameras off their turf, a formal request has finally been made in writing.

On Friday afternoon, Commissioner Jim Adkins wrote a brief email to Brooksville City Councilman Joe Bernardini, saying he didn't realize the county had not asked the city to remove red-light cameras at the intersections of Cobb Road and Jefferson Street and U.S. 41 and Wiscon Road.

"Use this as notice that I am requesting they be removed," Adkins wrote. "These locations are within my District 5 area."

Back in February, commissioners realized that two of the city's 16 red-light cameras were located on county property, and voted unanimously to disable the cameras. The cameras are still in operation, and city officials have maintained they've never received a request from the county.

During a July 1 meeting, Bernardini, who is opposed to red-light cameras, said he felt like the county was making the city "the bad guys," but never asked them to remove the cameras. Reached by phone on Saturday, Adkins said he sent the letter to Bernardini because he read in the news the city never received notice.

"I read nobody asked them (city council), so I went ahead," Adkins said. "The county's been discussing that for a few months, and that's why I sent it."

Adkins said he wasn't sure of the status of the cameras on county property, and said the matter is being handled by the county's legal team.

"I don't think that's the way a government should treat their citizens and make revenue off of them," Adkins said.

The commissioner added he hopes the city chooses not to renew its contract with red-light camera company Sensys America. On Saturday, Bernardini acknowledged Adkins' letter is the first step in discussing the two red-light cameras on county property, and said he would bring up the topic during Monday's city council meeting.

Bernardini said the city has a good working relationship with the county, and he didn't see why the city shouldn't remove the cameras as a "good neighbor" gesture.

"We'll see what council decides," said Bernardini, adding he was nearly sure the request would "fall on deaf ears."

(352) 544-5283

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