College Station's red light cameras have been off just over two weeks. Now, the law that allowed them to operate, is gone. The ordinance was repealed at Thursday night's city council meeting, but not without some tense discussion.
It's a debate about College Station's streets, most recently fought in court and council chambers.
"Obviously we're getting some push back and have gotten beat up quite a bit," said city council member Katy-Marie Lyles.
To counter that, the city council planned to repeal the original law that authorized red light cameras. It's been a month since residents voted with the intention to ban the camera's enforcement, and a week since a visiting judge threw out that election.
"It doesn't matter what the judge says, as far as the council is concerned we paid attention to the voters. They wanted to get rid of the cameras, we got rid of the cameras, they're gone. So I don't know what the commotion is all about," said council member Dennis Maloney.
"What I would really appreciate is that you guys honor the citizens' wishes when they passed this measure and the vote was for an ordinance to ban photo enforcement, not just take down the cameras," said College Station resident David Poprik, who spoke during the meeting.
Lyles questioned whether an ordinance to ban photo enforcement was possible. Mayor Ben White deferred to city attorney Harvey Cargill, who said an ordinance that would make something unenforceable would be a first in College Station.
"By state law in order to have red light camera enforcement, you have to have this ordinance on the books," said Cargill. "If you wanna do the most that you can do, you repeal it."
"But could we not put something in there that has the language in the petition?" said Lyles.
"When you don't want to have something enforced, you repeal it," said Cargill.
"Maybe I'm asking for too much here, I understand we're gonna repeal the original ordinance but I don't understand why we can't put an ordinance on the books that says that we won't have photo enforcement," said Lyles.
"I can't answer it really any different than I already just did," said Cargill.
In the end, the council repealed the original ordinance. A vote they all gave the green light.