Red light camera debate set for Sacramento Board of Supervisors meeting

A controversial proposal to award the city and county red light camera operations contract to an Arizona company has been set for discussion 2 p.m. Tuesday before the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.

The item had been previously assigned to the board’s morning “consent calendar,” where items are voted on without discussion, but was moved to the afternoon spot at the request of one of the competing private companies.

County staff is recommending the supervisors approve a four- to seven-year contract with Redflex Traffic Systems to operate and maintain red light cameras at 26 city and county intersections. The city and county would pay Redflex $5 million to $11 million for its services, depending on the length of the contract. Redflex holds the existing contract, which concludes this month.

Representatives of American Traffic Solutions, a competing bidder, are protesting the staff recommendation, saying their company is the better choice. Among its arguments, ATS contends the county has not adequately reviewed the the implications of a Chicago bribery incident Redflex recently was involved in.

Redlfex officials acknowledged the Chicago incident, in which one of their representatives gave unreported gifts and funds to a city official, and say they have since cleaned house. Sacramento County sheriffs officials say they are comfortable continuing the county’s relationship with Redflex.