12/15 City Council notes

The City Council and LaserCraft Inc. will “part ways” now that the city and the red light camera company have agreed to cancel their contract. All members of the council voted to rescind the contract with the Norcross, Ga.-based company Monday night. LaserCraft had been working with the city since late 2007 to set up red light cameras at problematic intersections such as Worley Street and Providence Road.

Failure to come to an agreement about the cameras’ photographs was cited as a reason for the contract’s demise. The company agreed to walk away in a Dec. 2 letter from LaserCraft’s attorney. The city hopes to begin a new program with a new vendor in early spring.

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As I wrote in a previous article, Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser and Boone County Southern District Commissioner Karen Miller are taking initiative to fight juvenile crime in Columbia. At Monday’s City Council meeting, Nauser presented her plan to the council. There are four parts of the plan:

  • establishing a curfew for children under the age of 16,
  • addressing truancy issues,
  • revising the youth advisory commission to be a joint city-county effort, and
  • creating a consequences manual for younger children. 

Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala offered his support to Nauser. He attended a conference with the National League of Cities and called it a “goldmine” of ideas when it came to youth and crime issues.

Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe was interested in Miller and Nauser’s research into how other university communities tackle youth crime. Hoppe wanted to know the specific age cut off for the curfew, which the council discussed should be 16. Nauser said the curfew would target younger children who are out at night alone when they shouldn’t be. 

The city will work with the county and the school board on a comprehensive plan in April.

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