Former City Manager Says Mayor Joy Cooper's Red-Light-Camera Argument Skews the Facts

cooperjoy1.jpg
Joy Cooper
The Florida League of Cities has gotten behind red-light cameras in a big way... thanks to the league's president, Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper, and her relentless insistence that the cameras -- through which a company in Arizona automatically sends hefty fines to red-light-runners -- actually save lives.

Cooper, representing the league, has been on the radio in the past defending the cameras, and recently she published a Miami Herald editorial. She argues against possible legislation that would prevent new red-light-camera programs from being instated, writing, "The violation of red-light traffic signals is the No. 1 cause of urban motor vehicle collisions. The installation and use of red-light cameras have proven to reduce intersection collisions by 40 percent."

Cooper is used to stirring up opposition on her home turf, and this time is no different. Former Hallandale City Manager and suspense-thriller author R.J. Intindola, whose views frequently clash with Cooper's, says her editorial is a bunch of hooey.

"Having worked with Joy Cooper for several years, I know she shoots from the hip using a shotgun approach, and then tries to justify her false statements," Intindola wrote in a rebuttal on Mike Butler's blog, ChangeHallandale.com.

He draws attention to a statement by Cooper that "Not being able to pay as many police officers is a challenge, but instead of putting cities and towns at risk with less officers on the streets, red-light traffic cameras can still effectively enforce the law, and allow officers to do their job -- protect citizens."

Not so fast... "In the case in Hallandale Beach Florida, her statement is not factual. A review of the 2009 budget indicates there are an equal number of police personnel today as there were when I retired in November of 2002," writes the former city manager.

Joy Cooper has a fondness for the dramatic, and for the misuse of facts. So I undertook my own investigation to validate her statements and determine the truth regarding the use of red light cameras.

For example, I located many of the same Insurance Institute for Highway Safety statistics used by Mayor Cooper. But I could not locate any other website or study that illustrated the positive aspects of red light cameras. Instead, a considerable amount of research concludes that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is providing self-serving statistics, provided exclusively by consultants they hired.
It's probably not the case that Cooper is trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes here... we'll bet she's not bent on enacting a big-brother dystopian society where Arizonans monitor our every move. She's clearly concerned about motorist safety, and we should remember that. Nobody with sinister motives would suffer the boredom of flipping through pages of highway-safety statistics, even with the intention to misuse them.

But it appears that once Cooper espouses a cause and really decides that it's right, she's willing to use a pretty generous toolkit to convince the public that it's a good idea. Just look to her weekly paid editorials in Hallandale's local paper, which fill up an entire page with the World of Joy.

Citizens like Mike Butler and Intindola are often effective watchdogs, and just as one would hope that their view of facts aren't influenced by political resentment, one would hope that Mayor Cooper's political crusades employ fact rather than obfuscation.


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12 comments
Frederico
Frederico

Hallandale Beach today 5/28/11: Almost no police presence. Homeless haven under the bridges. Ugly utility (electrical and cable) poles and wiring all ove. Almost no landscaping only butchered trees to make room for ugly utility wiring. Fake claims to be a green city without friendly landscaped green areas and street medians. Taxpayers money risked on public loans and programs with another fake claim of creating jobs by squandering taxpayer money. Ugly roads and sidewalks, empty lots, ugly wired rusty fences and shabby looking structures. No initiative to enhence and develope the city as a friendly green  place for pedestrians to enjoy life without looking at eyesores all around. But instead we have master plans studies forever and ever since this administration took hold with taxpayer money sqandered again and again for nothing. We need new personalities at city hall with a vision of a pleasant city, honesty, transparency and outside the political propaganda machine. 

DiegoHenry
DiegoHenry

Mayor Cooper, do you know who you are in bed with?

ATS, the company running the cameras in Hallandale, has justbeen exposed as being behind a lot of the pro-camera comments postedonline.   The expose caused the suspension, last week,of an ATS VP, who was posing as a resident of the various towns where he postedhis comments.  Source: Go to the websiteof the Everett (WA) Daily Herald (heraldnet dot com) and put Kroske into thesearch box.  

But don't stop there. VP Kroske was just one of ATS' spokesmen.  There's at least one other, and he ispotentially much more dangerous.  He isMark Rosenker, former chair of the NTSB. Having retired from the NTSB he now is Senior Advisor to an ATS-supportedpro-camera front group, the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR).  Taking advantage of his NTSB credential,Rosenker has been granted numerous pro-camera "guest columns" innewspapers around the country in which he mentioned his current position withthe NCSR but never disclosed that the NCSR is supported by ATS.  A little more history about Rosenker.  Early in his career he did electronicmonitoring for CRP, the campaign to re-elect Pres. Nixon.  CRP (now known colloquially as CReeP), didthe Watergate break-in, after which many of the conspirators were sent toprison, and Nixon resigned.

ATS is also behind many of the "citizensupported" pro-camera websites you'll find in towns where the company isentrenched.  The best article about theconcocted sites is at bancams dot com. To find the article, put "stupid" in their search box.

Mayor Cooper, do you feel like throwing out the sheets?

Swampting
Swampting

Joy Cooper is dumber than a pile of dog poop.   I wonder who really wrote the article for her, cause I GARE un tee she didn't write it herself.  Someone from the City manager's office maybe...or maybe the city attorney did it.  You see, pooper uses the city and it's offices as her own personal office, doing her bidding on a daily basis. 

Hih
Hih

We're supposed to believe someone who doesn't know the difference between razed & raised....in her south Florida sun times article...twice.

Red Means Stop
Red Means Stop

Look harder Stefan, Red Light Cameras reduce the number of T-Bone accidents which are the most fatal.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Mayor Cooper and her family are like the Palin Family factory seconds -- lots of the same issues, just missing that Alaskan high class and folksy charm.   Though Joy does like to atomically chew her gum like a winter moose blowing through its cud.

< Our apologies for including the words "Joy" and "blowing" in the same sentence. >

For those unaware, the Cooper family has a long and storied rap sheet.   Hell, the young Mr. Cooper just got popped for having five different state issued drivers licenses.   I guess, if son drove into a fire truck like his drunk ass Mom did, then well, he'd just pull out his...   Let me see, how about today we go with Louisiana?

Interested readers can find the Cooper AssClownage Factor in all its glory at:

http://www.myactsofsedition.co...

Toodles Joy!   Have your people call my people, we'll do lunch.

Chaz Stevens, Genius

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

A Long Term Study of Red-Light Cameras and Accidents David Andreassen Australian Road Research Board

This study examined the long term effect on accident-types of red-light cameras at 41 signalized intersections in Melbourne, Australia. The cameras were installed in 1984, and reported accidents for the period 1979 to 1989 were used in the detailed analysis.

Quotes from the study:“The results of this study suggest that the installation of the RLC at these sites did not provide any reduction in accidents, rather there has been increases in rear end and adjacent approaches accidents on a before and after basis and also by comparison with the changes in accidents at intersection signals.”“There has been no demonstrated value of the RLC as an effective countermeasure.”

Stefan Kamph
Stefan Kamph

Curious stuff, Chaz. Thanks for posting.

I was *almost* going to write a profile of Cooper for this newspaper, but she stood me up for lunch at the Flashback and then handed me an annotated resume instead. So the public will have to make do with your graphic moose metaphors.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Stefan.

Meeting Joy for lunch at Flashback would be 1,000x better than getting a friction dance from Joy at Flashdance.

If you do meet for chow -- consider the Olive Garden's endless soup & bread lunch.   But don't forget to take your video camera -- it'd make amazing YouPorn video filming  Cooper whittling down the breadsticks like a damn-building-beaver gnawing away on an oak branch.

Helpful suggestion:  Wear safety googles.

Commissioner Keith S. London
Commissioner Keith S. London

Stefan, you said “Mayor Cooper stood you up” well at least you’rein good company last year she hung up on Tom Francis.

 

If you want the real story regarding Hallandale Beach please drop me a line.

Commissioner Keith S. LondonHallandale Beach

Mich4NA
Mich4NA

London for Mayor 2012.

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