Should voters decide on St. Charles Co. red light cameras?

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. (KSDK) - Love them or hate them, red light cameras could soon be banned in St. Charles County.

On Monday night, the county council will vote on a bill proposed by Councilman Joe Brazil. If approved, Brazil's bill would allow voters to decide in November whether to ban red light cameras across the county.

Brazil, who was once arrested for not paying a red light camera ticket, has called the cameras a money grab by cities.

Currently, St. Peters is the only city in the county that uses red light cameras. Since 2007 the tickets have generated more than $615,000 dollars for the city. St. Peters mayor Len Pagano says the money pays for a transportation program for senior citizens. Pagano also insists the cameras are not a money grab.

But there may be a deeper problem.

Keith Hazelwood is an attorney who helped draft the St. Charles County charter more than 20 years ago. It says the county shouldn't make decisions for cities.

"There can be no forcing of particular public policies on municipalities, it has to be consensual," Hazelwood said.

He says the charter represents the "spirit" of how the county government is supposed to work, but it can legally be changed through a bill like the one proposed by Brazil.


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