12/15/2007Albuquerque, New Mexico Mayor Rescues Photo Enforcement
Political retreat by mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico green lights the return of red light cameras.
The mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico yesterday vetoed legislation that would have placed a temporary moratorium on the use of photo enforcement in the city. Mayor Marty Chavez (D) made the call after dropping plans to run for the US Senate seat left open by the announced retirement of Senator Pete Domenici (R). When his hopes for higher office were strong, Chavez distanced himself from the unpopular ticketing program and suggested he might cancel it entirely. The move came too late as the mayor's main rival, US Representative Tom Udall (D) had amassed a thirty-point lead in the polls.
Friday's veto means ticketing will continue indefinitely (view vetoed ordinance). A task force appointed by Chavez is expected to produce in mid-January a report on photo ticketing to bolster the mayor's views on the program now that the main impetus to part with his creation has subsided.
Albuquerque's red light cameras and speed cameras have issued 162,000 tickets generating more than $10.6 million in revenue. with the profit split between the city and the Australian vendor Redflex which runs the program.
Chavez does face a potential and unusual challenge for re-election as mayor. His ex-wife Margaret Aragon De Chavez is exploring the possibility of mounting a challenge for the office.