Okay! I have a point to make with our money-grubbing, short-sighted, wife-beating Mayor. He entered into a contract with a company that sets up cameras at busy intersections to catch speeders and red-light runners. A red-light violation was $150 for the first one, then $250, and on up to more than $500. The last State Legislature said it wanted all the money over $75, so the fines were reduced. Those same cameras clock cars at the intersections. For 10 miles per hour or less over the posted speed limit, the fine is $74. The big scam is that as soon as a red-light camera is installed at an intersection, the speed limits preceding the intersection are lowered — drastically.
Paseo del Norte is one of the few corridors across the Rio Grande to the West side of Albuquerque. I don’t often go to the west side, but knew that the speed limit on Paseo was 60 mph eastbound until after Jefferson, when it dropped to 45 until you got to I-25. A few weeks ago my son prevailed on me to fetch my granddaughter so she could spend the night. So, I was returning to the east side, on Paseo, going 60 mph (with cruise control set). I had a green light at Jefferson, but began slowing down because I knew the speed limit would drop. I went through the intersection and in my rear view mirror saw a blinding flash.
It was a newly installed red-light camera, and there had been (I didn’t see it) a newly installed 45 mph speed limit sign before the intersection — the one after the intersection was still in place. So, in the mail I received a $74 speeding ticket for going 55 in a 45 mph zone. It’s really no fun when you don’t have the opportunity to sweet talk some 24-year old in a motorcycle uniform, but, I digress. I demanded a hearing and was found guilty — hang my head — and ordered to pay $74. Well, I’m not giving our [see already listed descriptors] Mayor one red cent, so the hearing officer imposed Community Service.
Beginning this evening at 6:00, I must report to the Office of Senior Affairs where I will perform light maintenance (dusting and emptying waste baskets) for three hours. I will repeat this chore next Thursday evening as well. After next week, I’ll still owe an hour, but the Senior Affairs Director (now why does he seem so embarrassed about all this?) has said he’ll credit me with that dangling hour. I wish I could find a jail jumpsuit to wear when I report for duty tonight, but they are hard to come by . . . no, that’s not true, my clients seem to have a really easy time getting them.
I do not have seven hours available for doing busy work. On the other hand, I’m not going to give Mayor Marty and his goons $74. I’ll be the one in the hairnet carrying a Swiffer Duster.