Full council again in Ohio village
ELMWOOD PLACE, Ohio (AP) -- A southwest Ohio village in upheaval over its use of traffic cameras to catch speeders has rebuilt its council after the majority had resigned.
Two new Elmwood Place council members were sworn in Tuesday evening after being nominated and approved by the council. They joined two other council members added earlier after resignations left four of six seats vacant last month. Officials blamed the controversy over speed cameras for the resignations, which left the village temporarily without enough votes to pass legislation.
The village of some 2,200 people neighboring Cincinnati has become a focal point for a debate common across the country about using traffic cameras. Thousands of people got ticketed, leading to a lawsuit and a court injunction to stop using the cameras. Village officials say the cameras were meant to curtail a dangerous speeding problem on busy roads that connect with Interstate 75 and major employers. Critics said they were meant to raise revenue at $105 a citation.
Norman Bullock had served on council years ago and came back at age 80 to rejoin council Tuesday.
"I love the village," he said, adding that after working 40 years supervising truck drivers, he thinks he can handle the pressure over the camera controversy.
"You get used to hard knocks," he said in an interview.
The village has appealed the injunction against camera use, and also tried unsuccessfully to have Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman removed from the case. The Ohio Supreme Court rejected arguments that Ruehlman showed he was biased with his sharp wording, such as calling the camera use a "scam" and "sham" and comparing it to a con artist's card game.
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