Kane County Board chairman candidate Chris Lauzen underlined his opposition to red-light cameras Thursday afternoon and dotted the exclamation point with a flourish by making his statement under a red-light camera in his opponent's home town.
Standing under a sign that read "Red Light Photo Enforced" at the intersection of Randall Road and Williamsburg Avenue in Geneva, Lauzen visually illustrated that his position on red-light cameras is very different than that of Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns.
Lauzen brought three supporters who formally endorsed his candidacy and spoke passionately against the use of red-light cameras as law-enforcement tools.
Some of the rhetoric was heavily charged.
"Chris' opponent, the mayor who placed the red-light camera in this intersection, has a long record of using red-light cameras to raid the pocketbooks of the people of Kane County," said Peter Breen, a Lombard village trustee and founder of BanRedCams.com.
"That mayor is the one who thinks so little of the plight of small business that he would welcome customers to one of Geneva's largest shopping centers with a red-light camera. That mayor is dedicated to the cause of lining the pockets of government."
Williamsburg Avenue is one of the gateways to the Geneva Commons shopping center.
Also speaking at the press conference were 26th District state Sen. Dan Duffy, the sponsor of several bills opposing red-light cameras, and Warren Redmond, president of No More Cameras, described on Redmond's business card as "an Illinois PAC dedicated to getting rid of red-light cameras."
Redmond said he opposes the cameras because they represent a corrupt and dangerous program.
"I don't think the government needs to rape the taxpayers," he said.
Duffy said Lauzen "has been a co-sponsor every step of the way" of legislation Duffy has proposed regarding the regulation of red-light cameras.
On Wednesday, Burns made a statement supporting some of the legislation Duffy has proposed and emphasized that red-light-camera tickets are not a big revenue generator in Geneva, where the majority of tickets issued are warning tickets.
"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," Burns said Wednesday. "The city entered into this innovative approach to help improve safety as (we) were asked again and again to do by residents and guests alike."
Lauzen said the approach doesn't work and he would actively lobby against red-light cameras if he were Kane County Board chairman.
"Just because we have the technology to do something doesn't mean we should do it," Lauzen said.