November 25, 2014

Sioux City mayor criticizes legislator over traffic camera bill

Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott had some harsh words for lawmakers as the city council finalized their budget for the next fiscal year today. Scott took aim at a proposal that would siphon off funds collected from red light and traffic cameras and put it in the state treasury for road repairs.

He told the police chief to let motorists know about the plan. “Make sure that when you stop somebody for speeding in our community that they’re given the opportunity to call that legislator in eastern Iowa –be sure you have his number readily available — that was concerned about personal liberties and personal rights,” Scott said.

“Because that’s what it is about, it’s about money. And it irritates me when they use all these other smoke and mirror deals and it’s about money they want to continue to take away from communities.”

Scott said legislators frequently point fingers at city governments over traffic and other issues. “They don’t have a difficult time pointing out irresponsible city councils and irresponsible mayors and city managers, and we ought to be able to point out the same thing to them,” Scott said.

Scott says state legislators won’t raise the gas tax to fund road repairs, they’d rather take funds from city governments.Scott refused to name the lawmaker, saying only he is from Cedar Falls.

He was referring to Representative Walt Rogers, a Republican from Cedar Falls is one of the lawmakers who introduced the bill to use the traffic camera revenue for repairing state roads. Sioux City has over one dozen traffic cameras.

By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City