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State Sen. Criticizes Fort Lee Mayor For Red Light Camera Comments [POLL]

Republican State Sen. Michael Doherty, who spoke in Fort Lee this week, says red light cameras should be banned and suggested a referendum in Fort Lee might be a good idea. What do you think?

State Sen. Michael Doherty (R-23) released a statement Thursday, just two days after about his legislation to ban red light cameras in New Jersey, blasting Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for comments he made in an article published on NorthJersey.com saying he wants to install red light cameras in the borough “for money reasons.”

“Mayor Sokolich has admitted that he wants the money generated by red light cameras, despite the opposition of Fort Lee residents to his plan,” Doherty said in the statement. “The Mayor has stated his intention to put cameras at lights on the edge of town where he says mostly non-residents will be ticketed. If safety was truly the goal, wouldn’t he seek to have cameras installed at the most dangerous intersections rather than the ones least likely to draw residents’ ire?”

In July, that while he always tries to make the best decisions for the community regardless of whether they’re difficult or potentially unpopular, he regrets not tackling the question of a red light camera program in the borough two years earlier.

He also said the Mayor and Council would likely “revisit” the idea, and that such a program wouldn’t be put in place with the intention of ticketing Fort Lee residents.

Sokolich said at the time a red light camera program would make dangerous intersections in Fort Lee safer and generate revenue for the borough, much of which he said will come from out-of-towners cutting through the borough.

“Fort Lee is blessed or cursed, depending on how you look at it, with several very, very busy intersections, where, during peak morning and afternoon rush, I would venture to guess that less than 1 percent of the traffic volume is generated by residents from Fort Lee,” Sokolich said in July.

Speaking at the Fort Lee VFW Tuesday, Doherty agreed with a member of the audience who questioned why a proposal to install red light cameras isn’t being put before Fort Lee voters in a referendum.

“Mayor Sokolich knows his proposal to install red light cameras is unpopular and would lose at the polls because people don’t want to become a cash cow for wasteful government,” Doherty said Thursday.

Sokolich said that if the question were put on a referendum, he wasn’t certain it would “garner enough support to pass,” and that sometimes “government needs to have the fortitude” to make potentially unpopular decisions, NorthJersey.com reported.

He also said that even a vote by the Borough Council could be close, according to the report.

Now we want to know what you think.

Dan Nelson September 25, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Sure they're jealous ..they're earning a minimal salary compared to her and they all have to have to pay for their own car's, gas and car washes...there's another carwash next to the plaza diner !!
William Mays September 25, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Oh yeah, forgot about that one. 160k isn't high by any means for a city official with her position.
Dan Nelson September 25, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Its not bad when you were hired at $60,000 ..Back to my original point ..The mayor said he had to make a ''tough decision'' regarding red light camera's targeting resident's and visitors for ''money reasons'' and my point is why keep on targeting us when he refuses to make tough decisions on things like those unnecessary perks ?? The administrator work's on a yearly contract, if i was a mayor who was seriously concerned about the borough's finances, come next years contract i would say 'listen, you've gotten $100,000 in raises since you started working here, times are tough now, so you'll have to bite the bullet on these perks''
Luca D. September 26, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Billy was asked by a pundit what he thought, his reply was, "I haven't thought for years."
Keith Jensen January 12, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Red Light cameras have been put to rest in Fort Lee. Publicly stated by the newly appointed Councilmen and the Mayor during their campaign. Bravo! Now ask them to go further and execute a resolution requesting all red light revenue collected be put towards safety and not to pad the municipal budgets across the State. You see them in Palisades Park and the residents of Englewood complain about the ones on 9W. If they are truly placed for safety, then let’s tell our elected leaders to direct that red light tax to a state safety fund as per Senator Doherty in this article: http://nj1015.com/senator-challenges-mayors-on-red-light-safety-claims-with-new-bill/ By the way, for those of you who missed this news while you were on vacation, I wrote an op-ed on the $3.5Million property investment that the Mayor and Council snuck in while you were away. They just took a mortgage out on with our tax dollars, but it can still be vetoed by Mayor Sokolich if you call his official office and ask him, “to veto Ordinance 2012-43”. 201-592-3500 x1500: http://fortlee.patch.com/articles/fort-lee-gop-starts-petition-to-stop-acquisition-of-main-street-property

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