It's curiouser and curiouser, move and countermove time in the race for the Republican nomination for Kane County Board chairman.
Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns issued a press release today supporting the "common-sense direction" of two state Senate bills regulating the use of red-light cameras.
Not coincidentally, the press release comes about 24 hours before Burns' GOP primary opponent, state Sen. Chris Lauzen, announced he would be holding a press conference on that topic.
The press conference is to be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, at the northeast corner of the intersection of Randall Road and Williamsburg Drive—one of the two places where red-light cameras have been installed in Geneva.
In the Burns press release, the mayor announces his support for SB 2863 and SB 3504, introduced by state Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Barrington), who is a scheduled speaker at Lauzen's Thursday press conference. The bills address the issue of ticketing on right-turn-on-red and the timing of the yellow light, according to the Burns release.
“This is the common-sense direction we took with the installation of cameras while I have been mayor,” Burns said. “These two bills reflect exactly what we have done here in Geneva. It’s a shame that no senator, including Sen. Lauzen, has supported them.”
In reference to the press conference Lauzen and Duffy have announced, Burns said, "This technology has been in place in Geneva for two years and just now Chris is expressing his dissatisfaction? Typical political opportunism by the senator."
Burns pointed out that Geneva has two intersections where red-light cameras are in use, and tickets are not issued for right-turn-on-red. The cameras are at Williamsburg and Randall Road and at Fargo and Randall Road, both considered dangerous intersections.
“The most dangerous intersections in Geneva required a new way to enforce the problems we've seen for years,” said Burns. “There is no room to post a police officer at these two intersections, so we explored ways to address the dangerous situations. The red-light cameras were approved by the city and county, and the permit authorizing the technology was granted by the county with a three-year sunset clause, meaning it expires in less than a year. It's unlikely that a request for a permit extension will be filed by the city.”
The process Geneva has in place includes review by police officers before any
violation is issued, the Burns press release states.
“Our review is clear,” said Burns. “We don’t issue tickets for right-turn-on-red, and we use as a guide the question: ‘Would we issue a ticket if a police officer were present?’ Our statistics are public and the hearings are public. The city entered into this innovative approach to help improve safety as were asked again and again to do by residents and guests alike."
According to the Lauzen press release, Duffy will speak against red-light cameras as the lead sponsor of legislation that would restrict and eliminate these devices. Peter Breen, chairman and founder of BanRedCams.com, will also speak and endorse Lauzen based on his opposition to red-light cameras.