Mayor and Town Council,
This is the revised list of questions on the red-light camera system. The revision involves an additional column to the spreadsheet, which contains example avenues of clarification in an attempt to jar some specificity out of the vendor, ACS, and the town red-light camera engineers.
As I stated last week, this was a chance for the town and ACS to come clean on the details of this systems operation. I asked specific questions, they answered in generalities. They had, in some cases, 18 months to prepare detailed responses to these questions.
As you know, their response was miserable.
I’ve seen example after example of professional, detailed, reports covering other aspects of our town’s operation, so, this deficiency doesn’t lie in an inability, but rather in a lack of will. They have another opportunity, so, this time, I would appreciate detailed, verifiable, specifics in their responses.
Resident, Chapel Hill
Mayor, Council Members, Candidates,
Friday, Oct. 24th, the town provided approximately 50 unique answers to the
135 questions I submitted to the council on August 25th.
Within the responses lurk a few nuggets of information, but, on the whole, it appeared that the terse answers were provided merely to fulfil a noisome task instead of trying to shed light on key elements of the red-light camera system. As I reviewed this faint effort, two thoughts came to mind: one, it took two months to crank this feeble dross out? and, two, What contempt ACS and the town engineers must have for towards those citizens of Chapel Hill concerned about this system.
Details. Details. Details. How many? How long? How much? To whom? What procedure? What guideline? I corresponded with Mr. Neppalli after I submitted these questions and re-emphasized that I wanted specifics.
Instead, they provide a few ‘solid’ details and several references to documents that, of course, didn’t exist when I posed my original questions. I’ve made comments on a number of these responses within the enclosed spreadsheet (chief of which is the .3 second trigger timing, much less than the ITRE recommendation!).
Among "No. Yes. None. Not Applicable.”, were gems like “Town cannot respond to hypothetical situations.” and “ACS will comply with applicable legal requirements regarding contributions.” and “ACS must follow all applicable Town, State, and Federal Laws.”
Quite frankly, I expect any vendor for the Town of Chapel Hill to comply with all relevant federal, state and local statutes. I did expect ACS, to be “as Caesar's wife: above reproach.", to reveal whom, if anyone, they’re donating to in the current race. And “hypothetical?” Ask Los Angeles if the $500,000 they just coughed up was hypothetical!
When I ask (providing a web-link) “…in Los Angeles, the county had to reimburse $500,000 in citations because of an error ACS committed http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/news/051603_nw_red_light_camera.html, would that be considered enough of a problem to invalidate the contract?”, it’s either laziness or contempt that generates “ACS is not aware of any such errors.”
Anticipating one more round, I took the 135 questions, reformatted them into Excel to ease both ACS’ and the engineer’s burden and highlighted those that need additional detail. I ‘bolded’ those questions I felt could use the most clarification. Mr. Ward, not a big fan of the red-light opposition, told me he thought these questions were reasonable. Should I expect any less reasoning in their answering?
I hope you review the town’s response and confirm the dearth of answers for yourself and ask, “is this a reasonable effort?” And, if you direct ACS and the town’s engineers to respond again, I hope they understand that the citizens of Chapel Hill deserve more than a “Magic Eight Ball” answer.
Resident, Chapel Hill