NEW ORLEANS - A new transition report for mayor-elect Latoya Cantrell addresses the controversial issue of traffic cameras. It's been a hot topic all over New Orleans and now some wonder what will come of them once Cantrell takes office.
People in New Orleans have strong opinions on traffic cameras.
"Why should I have to pay for cameras when I'm paying for police officers?" asked Mark Barillbau. "I think we should have more police officers, I think we should have more traffic officers not cameras."
"I think they're unfair," said Alesia Irvin. "Get rid of them."
It's something mayor-elect Latoya Cantrell has also shown opposition to, previously saying on the campaign trail she'd turn them off if elected.
"They definitely should go," she stated during an Eyewitness News debate.
Recently dozens of cameras were installed around New Orleans to help improve safety, especially near schools. That is something that's a priority for Cantrell, but there is some skeptism if the cameras have helped.
"We really don't know if it's actually reducing or making us safer," she stated in a previous interview for Eyewitness News.
However, in a Transition Report released Thursday, Cantrell's Government Operations Committee is recommending keeping some. Suggesting to "dedicate revenue from traffic safety cameras in school zones to public safety goals."
"I understand that they're trying to stop certain things regarding traffic, so I understand both sides of it," said Dana Nault. "I think they're fraudulent."
According to the Transition Report, tickets from traffic cameras around town make up for about 4 percent of the city's revenue. So there is a question fiscally on what would happen if the cameras are removed.
"If we don't have that revenue we need to figure out where we're going to get that revenue from," said Jason Williams, City Council President.
Williams isn't advocating that cameras be taken down, however, says it is a subject that may be worth revisiting.
"I'm willing to take a look at it if that's what the people want, but we need to make sure that we can pay for all the needs of the city. I think it'd be smart for the city to get a lot more creative about how we're generating revenue, but we've got to do that first before we remove a huge chunk of our revenue. This is not supposed to be a gotcha and money grab, it should be a behavior modification to save lives and protect children."
Cantrell wasn't available for an interview, but a statement from her spokesman states:
"The Mayor-elect has not changed her position on the traffic camera question. The reference included in the Transition Report is one recommendation among many, which the Mayor-elect and her team will take under advisement to help shape policy going forward."
Cantrell officially takes office Monday, May 7.