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Crime and Courts


Patton and the village of Linndale continue to battle over traffic fines
Are portable traffic camera the next step for one of the state's most prolific traffic venues? Not if a state senator has anything to say about it
Story by M.L. SCHULTZE AND KABIR BHATIA


 
Ohio Sen. Tom Patton says there are "honorable" reasons for traffic cameras, but sustaining Linndale isn't one of them.
Courtesy of PROJECT VOTESMART
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The battle between state Sen. Tom Patton and the village of Linndale over traffic enforcement is not done yet. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on Patton’s latest attempt to head off the tiny town’s latest effort to continue writing speeding tickets – and perhaps to continue to exist at all.

LISTEN: Linndale v. Patton, round 2

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Less than a month ago, 16 residents of the village of Linndale – official population 179 – voted to give the town a charter. With only two ‘no’ votes, that seemed like a sure first step toward gaining the legal status to allow Linndale to get its first traffic cameras – and to recover some of the $800,000 a year it was making from its mayor’s court before a new law this year shut it down.

Sen. Tom Patton sponsored the law. And since the September vote, he’s come up with a new bill that says, if a town doesn’t qualify for a mayor’s court, it can’t have traffic cameras.

Patton says there are “honorable” reasons for the cameras, but supplying 80 percent of a town’s budget it not one of them. And he says Linndale may be better served if it merges with Cleveland, Brooklyn or another suburb.

“It’s certainly not my intention to dictate to them that they have to do that. I think their finances have shown that they have to do that. We’re not trying to push them in that direction. What we’re trying to do simply is not let them take advantage of opportunities to gather resources in not appropriate fashions.”

For decades, Linndale had the most prolific mayor’s court in the state, with most of its the tickets written along a quarter mile stretch of Interstate 71.

The new charter also would allow the city to set up a waiver bureau to collect fines directly instead of going to the Parma Municipal Court. Patton says he plans to meet with Linndale’s new mayor later this week.

 

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