Chillicothe Gazette

Enforcement for red-light and speed cameras in Chillicothe has been suspended by Mayor Joe Sulzer after Tuesday’s vote showing local opposition to the devices. In a brief statement Wednesday afternoon, Sulzer said he issued an executive order to Police Chief Roger Moore to suspend the program.

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During an unusual address to council attendees Monday, Mayor Joe Sulzer took on community criticism for red-light cameras. During the public comment period of Monday’s regular city council meeting members of Citizens Against Photo Enforcement took to the microphone to ask for support for a ballot initiative that would ban red- light and speed cameras in the city. Many spoke out against a recent political mailer sent to homes on behalf of Redflex Inc. that provides red- light and speed cameras through a contract with City Council.

Chillicothe voters will have their say on red-light and speed-enforcement cameras Nov. 3, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled today. The length of time it took the city to ask for either removal of a ballot issue to ban red light and speed enforcement cameras or to get a quasi-judicial hearing from the board of elections on the issue cost the city in its appeal.

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Local farmers and agriculture supporters gathered at Wayne Upton’s horse farm in Frankfort Thursday evening were urged to spread the word about state Issue 2 to “city folk.” Farm Bureaus from three counties and state Rep. Ray Pryor conducted the public information session to help those in the agriculture industry learn more about Issue 2, a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would create an Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to set rules for livestock treatment in the state of Ohio.

City officials are unsure what to do after the Ross County Board of Elections refused to remove a ballot initiative that would ban Redflex photo enforcement in the city. “We have to make the decision if we want to take this to the (Ohio) Supreme Court,” said James Mann, assistant law director. “The question for us is, ‘Where do we go from here?’” Last month, the City of Chillicothe filed a protest to ask that an initiative ordinance to ban red light and speed photo enforcement in the city be removed from the Nov. 3 ballot.

Tonight may be decision time in one struggle concerning the future of red-light and speed-enforcement cameras in Chillicothe — but it’s not likely to be the last battle, regardless of the outcome. The Ross County Board of Elections, in an 8 p.m. meeting today in the large conference room of the Ross County Service Center on Western Avenue, is expected to rule on whether voters will get the chance in November to decide if the cameras will be permitted to remain operational in Chillicothe.

A initiative petition seeking to ban red-light cameras in Chillicothe is officially on the Nov. 3 ballot, at least until a hearing next week. The ballot initiative would create a city ordinance banning red-light and speed-enforcement cameras in the City of Chillicothe, but the city has filed a protest against the ordinance citing that the ordinance would violate the U.S. and state Constitutions.

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Chillicothe City Council voted unanimously Monday to place a tax levy on the November ballot that would allow the city to purchase and renovate the Carlisle Building for city offices. “We’re at the point where these special interest groups have asked and asked for us to move forward as a city and ”˜do something about the Carlisle,’” said Finance Chair Cindy Henderson, R-At Large, at a special session Monday. “For us to move forward, it’s going to cost additional money.”