Mayor Gaskin calls a veto on insurance camera
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Tuesday night the Columbus city council voted to contract with the Securix company to install cameras designed to look for uninsured drivers.
Mayor Keith Gaskin and Ward 2 Councilman Joseph Mickens have expressed concerns about the service.
Mickens was the lone no vote.
Today Mayor Keith Gaskin vetoed the move.
Mayor Gaskin said he believes the vote was passed with good intention but he doesn’t fully agree with the repercussions it could have on many Columbus Citizens.
In a five to one vote Tuesday night, the Columbus City Council agreed to contract with a private company to install cameras in high traffic areas to scan license plates and identify uninsured drivers.
Even during the discussion Mayor Keith Gaskin and Vice Mayor Joseph Mickens voiced concerns about the impact of the program.
Those concerns have prompted the Mayor to veto the measure.
Gaskin says that he believes that this vote seemed a bit rushed and he would like to be able to take more time and look closer at the service.
“I’ve decided to veto that decision based on a couple of reasons. Primarily I just don’t think we know enough about this company and the technology. I feel like the council moved a little quickly on this and I’m not saying that there’s not gonna be a time and place on this at some point,” said Gaskin.
Mayor Gaskin says that he has been talking to people in Columbus and he has listened to the problems they have, and he believes that this would hurt some in the community more than it would help.
“I meet with citizens on a regular basis and understand the struggles they’re having to meet their financial needs and there are truly people out there that have to choose between whether they will have car insurance or they’re going to have food on their table or pay their light bills,” said Gaskin.
Gaskin says he understands the council’s view.
“I’m not blaming the council for their decision. One of the things that they see in this is that. They want people to abide by the law and have insurance but they also see it as an income stream that could go to the police department and that could be very helpful. I completely understand the thoughts on that”
But Gaskin says his job is to make sure all of Columbus is cared for..
“When you’re looking at situations like this you really have to look at the entire community that you serve and I don’t see evidence where this type of method would increase the number of insured drivers that we have on the road,” said Gaskin.
City attorney Jeff Turnage says there are also legal matters that haven’t been looked into and it would be best to get an opinion from the Attorney General before placing the program in effect.
Councilman Stephen Jones recently released a statement: