SALINEVILLE - The Village of Salineville is continuing to look into installing speed radar equipment.
President pro temp and head of the safety committee Sally Keating stated to council Monday night that she believes more information needs to be gathered on the subject before a decision is made. Despite being in the early stages of learning about the devices many council members have already formed strong opinions for and against the idea.
"We really didn't get to vote or decide anything, I think we need to meet again to discuss that a little bit more," said Keating of the Feb. 25 safety committee meeting, adding she would like more input from the community
A poll on the unofficial Salineville Facebook page showed that residents are overwhelmingly opposed to having speed enforcement devices in the village.
Representatives from the Maryland-based traffic control company, Optotraffic, were present at the special meeting and provided committee members with information about its devices.
Council members differed on their opinions of installing the radar equipment. With the village strapped for cash and always looking for ways to generate income, several council members saw the devices as an opportunity to bring money into the village.
"We have three sources of income in the village: You've got your city income tax, which I don't think anybody wants to raise; you've got your property taxes, which I don't think we can do anything about; and then you've got your income from the mayor's court and traffic tickets," said Councilman Tom Hays, adding, "So if you don't want to have the (traffic) camera here, then I suggest you really think about raising the city income tax.
"You have to get money generated from somewhere. If the other two sources are out you have to take the lesser of the two evils. So if you turn it down you better have a solution to come up with more money in the village."
Keating pointed out council did not have to rush into any decision because the offer from Opt-Traffic stands, even if they decide not to take it at this time. The village also has the option of opting out of their contract with Optotraffic should they decide to enter into an agreement
"I don't think this was a one-time-shot, I think we can probably sign up for it at any time," said Keating.
Hays seemed irked by Keating's lack of urgency, and spoke about the seriousness of both the village speeding problem as well as its financial state.
"Well, if you want to let the village stagnate and not raise any money for the village," he responded.
Councilman Rick Beadle, who has previously objected to speed radar on the grounds that it will hurt the pocketbooks of people who can't afford it, joined the debate.
"I surely wouldn't want to count on cameras for traffic tickets being the main source of income for the village, I'd rather hold the village up than have to rely on the income from a camera to support the village-that's pretty sad," said Beadle.
Councilman Jim Howdershelt pointed out that speeding laws apply to all and if residents don't want fined they should quit speeding.
"I'm not in favor of anybody going over the speed limit, if you go over the speed limit you deserve a ticket," said Howdershelt. "Same with me, if I go over that speed limit I deserve a ticket."
"I feel its an invasion of certain rights," countered Beadle.
"I've got a right to drive up the street without somebody coming through town doing 40 or 50 miles per hour and killing me," responded Howdershelt.
Council tabled the matter for further discussion at a later time and head of the safety committee Sally Keating is expected to schedule another safety meeting with the purpose of discussing traffic enforcement devices in the near the future.