Murrieta City Council is set to vote Tuesday on an ordinance implementing the recent voter-approved ban of red-light cameras, despite a recent court appeal by camera backers that sought to delay the action.
The majority of Murrieta voters approved Measure N, Murrieta Prohibition of Automated Traffic Cameras, during the Nov. 6 general election. According to election results certified by the Riverside County Registrar of Voters office, 19,344—57.26 percent—of Murrieta citizens voted to have the cameras removed. Another 14,436—42.74 percent—of residents voted to keep the cameras in place.
Election law requires the measure to go into effect within 10 days of the election results being certified by the city. The certification was set to take place Tuesday during the city council’s regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m., when re-elected Randon Lane and newly-elected Harry Ramos were also scheduled to be sworn into office as councilmen.
The camera ordinance, which requires removal of existing red-light cameras, would then be effective Dec. 14.
There is concern among measure supporters, however, that a legal battle may delay removal of the cameras. Measure backer Diana Serafin said she plans to be at the meeting Tuesday to urge city council to immediately implement the measure.
Murrieta city council is scheduled to meet in closed session prior to Tuesday’s meeting to discuss two camera-related lawsuits.
On Thursday, a request by Safe Streets for Murrieta for a stay on the implementation of the measure was denied by a Riverside County appellate court, according to case records. Safe Streets for Murrieta is a committee that during the election was financially supported by American Traffic Solutions, the Arizona-based company that installed and operates Murrieta’s cameras, according to a news report by the The Press-Enterprise.
A campaign disclosure report Safe Streets For Murrieta obtained from the Murrieta City Clerk's office confirmed that the committee received donations totaling at least $55,000 from American Traffic Solutions. The money was used to fund the No on Measure N campaign during the election.
During closed session, council is also scheduled to discuss a previous lawsuit filed against the measure in June. The lawsuit sought to stop the initiative from appearing on the ballot; however, a three-judge panel ruled in favor of a vote from the people, citing other cases in which measures were challenged post election.
Editor's Note: This story was updated at 11:15 a.m. Dec. 4 after the campaign disclosure form for Safe Streets for Murrieta was obtained by Patch from the Murrieta City Clerk's office.