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Redflex takes backseat again

Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen narrowly deferred voting on a contract for Redflex automated enforcement cameras, this time to allow the newly-elected Board the final say.

“We might want to postpone this … to give the next Board the opportunity to see and understand this because they will be the ones who have to implement this,” Mayor Eddy Ford said as he presided over his final meeting, Thursday, April 9.

Vice Mayor J. Michael Haynes agreed, saying no changes had been made to the contract since it was last debated, and moved to postpone, a motion eventually passed 3 to 2, with Aldermen Tom Rosseel and Dot LaMarche dissenting.

At its March 12 meeting, the Board voted to table contract approval over the number of monitored approaches at each intersection, plus a few legal stipulations by Town Attorney Tom Hale.

Haynes and Ford said they wanted all four approaches monitored at three key intersections, or they would find another automated enforcement vendor.

April 9, Haynes said the attorney for Redflex had not contacted Hale over insurance and liability issues, as he should have.

“I have not picked up the phone and tried to reach their attorney … I don’t know who their attorney is,” Hale said.

Alderman John Williams asked Hale if other Tennessee municipalities who had contracts with Redflex used improper language in their documents.

“If five other Towns have contracts, I need to be made to understand what the problem is,” Williams said.

“Are you insinuating the other municipalities in this state who have undergone contracts with Redflex have not satisfactorily addressed this issue or have not modified the language?” he asked.

“If they had the same contract language that has been proposed in this contract, they have not dealt with that issue in a sufficient way,” Hale said.

“I believe Redflex would agree with that language if we discussed it lawyer to lawyer,” he added.

Rosseel asked if, like other contracts, this could be approved with a “subject to” clause, allowing Hale final approval of the legal aspects.

Haynes said he had another problem, besides approaches, with the contract. He wanted Redflex to add an indemnification clause protecting the Town from liability if any Redflex equipment is installed incorrectly or malfunctions.

“This, to me, is common sense protection for the Town for failure of their stuff. That’s a substantive question … not a technical issue,” Haynes said.

“We have passed the ordinance on two readings and this is the organization that was chosen … I think it’s time for us to act,” Rosseel said, pointing out the representative from Redflex had flown in from Boston for the meeting.

“I have to defer to my more scholarly colleagues on the legal aspects of this contract … to my dismay, I’d have to say it’s probably best this issue be deferred,” Williams said.

LaMarche asked to hear from Redflex spokesman Craig Primiani, which Ford eventually allowed.

“I thought the issue was the approaches,” Primiani said of his last meeting with the Board.

“We’ll go with Tom [Hale] and get that ironed out … these aren’t big issues,” he added.


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