Just when it looked like the Houston was ready to put the red light camera drama behind it, a new legal chapter appears to be opening.
Anti-camera activist Paul Kubosh announced at Tuesday’s City Council meeting that he and his attorneys would be re-entering the legal arena to see through the official validation of a 2010 public referendum that banned the camera program.
"You have to deal with the fact that the voters are back in this process," Paul Kubosh told city council.
The decision to continue the battle comes after a U.S. appellate court ruled Tuesday morning to allow Paul Kubosh, and his brothers Michael and Randall, to be included in legal proceedings between City Hall and camera contractor American Traffic Solutions (ATS).
This summer a federal judge invalidated the Nov. 2010 referendum that amended the city’s charter to disallow the red light camera system. While citizens saw the automated ticketing program formally dissolved in August, the Kuboshes now want the charter amendment reinstated.
"You have to deal with the fact that the voters are back in this process," Kubosh told city council, saying that he plans to represent the citizens who voted against the cameras in the referendum.
Joined by his attorney David Furlow and former ACLU leader Randall Kallinen, Kubosh explained that he wants to prevent the city from being able to launch future camera programs without a public vote.
On Wednesday, city council will vote to approve a proposed settlement with ATS over breaking its contract with the company for the automated ticketing system. The payment to the camera contractor would start at $4.8 million, but could reach as high as $12.5 million across the next three years as the city agrees to pay ATS a portion of delinquency fines for violators caught by the cameras.