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Carol Stream officials defend contract with camera firm
By Nadia Malik | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 7/21/2009 12:10 AM

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Red-light cameras were at the forefront of the Carol Stream village board meeting Monday as a resident questioned a contract for the technology that had been approved by the board.

Former Police Chief Rick Willing went on to work for REDFLEX Traffic Systems a year after he recommended the company for Carol Stream's cameras.

Village officials said on Monday that there was nothing wrong with the way that came about.

"He was doing his job in making that recommendation," Trustee Pam Fenner said.

Village President Frank Saverino said Willing's job was to come up with all possibilities for red-light cameras, and it was the board's final decision to choose the company.

"The chief didn't make that decision," he said.

Suzanne Hlotke, the resident who questioned that action, said she was satisfied with the board's response. However, she still wasn't happy with the village having cameras in the first place.

"We don't need that intrusion in our lives," she said.

The second set of cameras went up in town last week at the intersection of North and Gary avenues.

She said the board has flip-flopped, at first not allowing right turn tickets to be given at Kuhn Road and North Avenue, where cameras went up last year, and then allowing those tickets to be given at the newest site.

However, officials have said the second intersection has more pedestrian traffic and warrants the new rules.

Board members defended the decision of having cameras, saying they make the town safer and that accident data backs the move.

"There was a lot of thought that went into these cameras," Saverino said.

Beth Melody, village clerk, said she was in two accidents in two years involving trucks that ran red lights.

The second accident put her in a coma for two weeks, she said.

"I wish these red-light cameras were around (then)," she said. "Maybe it would have saved me from a lifetime of pain."

Hlotke said she still doesn't believe the cameras will solve the problem of people running red lights and just intrudes on residents.