TAMPA, Florida - A grass-roots effort to give Brooksville residents a chance to vote on red light cameras is being met with ferocious opposition, both by the residents' very own elected officials as well as a somewhat mysterious new group with high-powered attorneys.
"Keep Florida Roads Safe," a new group incorporated on Aug. 25, filed a pair of legal briefs in Hernando County seeking to prevent a citizen referendum from ever reaching a ballot. In addition to suing Pat & Shirley Miketinac, the seemingly pro-red light camera (RLC) group is also suing the county's Supervisor of Elections, Shirley Anderson, seeking an injunction on the issue.
Even though residents, upset with the city's over-aggressive "rolling right" enforcement, gained enough signatures for a referendum, Brooksville's city council & city attorney have indicated the ballot language goes too far and is too vague for the city charter.
The Miketinacs are seeking to end the city's current red light camera contract with Sensys America and prohibit future city councils from ever entering into another RLC contract.
"Keep Florida Roads Safe" was incorporated by Tampa law firm Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, which has represented Florida's leading red light camera provider, American Traffic Solutions (ATS) before.
ATS, typically prompt in responding to media questions, has not yet responded to multiple requests for comment on the new group. 10 Investigates also reached out to Carlton Fields Jorden Burt late Monday, but has not yet heard back.
The Miketinacs tell 10 Investigates that "Keep Florida Roads Safe" is a group similar in name and mission to other industry-backed advocacy groups that have sprung up in other parts of the country over the years.
"It amazes us that this small city can garner this much attention, except that we could set a precedent in Florida," the Miketinacs said in an email. "Just imagine if the citizens found out that they could have a say in their own government. That might set a 'dangerous' precedent indeed!"