Well, a lot of you called this one; Mayor Mary Verner is suggesting helping to dig ourselves out of the City of Spokane’s budget hole in part by diverting money raised by the red light camera fines to the general fund. She’s also proposing upping the cost of parking fines. The Spokesman-Review has a preview of Verner’s proposed 2012 budget.
The criticism of the red light cameras has always been that they’re not really about promoting safety, but are instead intended to bring in revenue. By diverting the money raised from them to neighborhood safety projects, that argument was invalidated. Giving it back to the general fund though could raise some hackles.
So what do you think? In times of extremem financial hardship, such as now, is it okay to divert that money? If not, is it because you’re concerned the revenue stream will never be diverted back to neighborhood projects? Just curious what your thoughts are here.