Red Bank Commissioners voted 4-1 on Tuesday night to end red light and speed cameras that have been controversial since they were installed in the town in 2006.
The cameras won't go away immediately, but Mayor Monty Millard said a 90-day notice was required on canceling the contract. The camera enforcement would be slated to end in January.
Voting along with him were Vice Mayor John Roberts and Council members Floy Pierce and Kenneth Welch.
Ruth Jeno, who is not seeking re-election, was the only no vote. She said the city has only three police officers on duty at any one time and they need to be stationed in the neighborhoods, not patroling traffic on Dayton Boulevard. She said the officers are especially needed in the neighborhoods, saying Red Bank has had a home invasion, a stolen car ring and a meth lab recently.
She said she did not believe the camera enforcement hurt the city's business, saying customers would still come "if you are a decent place and have a good product."
Commissioner Pierce said she did believe the cameras helped with safety, but she said they hurt businesses and the taxpayers.
She said if removing the cameras proves to be a mistake, that they could be brought back later.
Several residents spoke to the commissioners in favor of doing away with the cameras.
Some said the camera enforcement was pushing traffic off of Dayton Boulevard on to side streets and that the drivers went as fast as they would on the main thoroughfare.
One speaker said many people avoid Red Bank because of the cameras. He said he was involved in a baseball program and that those taking part in the program would sometimes call him and ask for directions to a Red Bank field without going onto Dayton Boulevard.
Another said he was tired of being under the watchful eye of the cameras.
Police Chief Tim Christol said there had been a drop in traffic of about 1,200 vehicles per day on Dayton Boulevard since the cameras were installed. He said he did not have figures on whether or not the cameras had cut down on wrecks.
It was announced that $51,000 has been collected toward establishing a permanent pavilion with a soundstage at the city park on Redding Road.
Mayor Millard said $10,500 each was coming from the discretionary funds of County Commissioners Joe Graham and Jim Fields and $30,000 from the Red Bank/Soddy Daisy Foundation.
The mayor said candidates for city manager will be interviewed on Sept. 25. The interviews will be open to the public.