Following a six-month contract extension, the question of whether Menlo Park should continue its contract with Redflex, a red-light camera company involved in a bribery scandal in Chicago, will be returning to the City Council Tuesday.
At its April 9 meeting, the council is scheduled to discuss whether the city's use of cameras to enforce red light traffic violations, for which it pays about $26,000 a month, is effective and should be continued.
The city currently has red-light cameras installed at five intersections: westbound Bayfront Expressway and Willow Road; northbound El Camino Real and Ravenswood Avenue; southbound El Camino Real and Ravenswood Avenue; northbound El Camino Real and Glenwood Avenue; and westbound Bayfront Expressway and Chilco Street, according to the report.
The city began its agreement with Redflex in 2013 and has renewed its contract twice, with its most current extension scheduled to end April 30.
The City Council agreed last year to extend the contract for six months while further analysis was done on the effectiveness of the program and while a request for proposals was issued to get bids from other red-light camera vendors.
Redflex was involved in a large bribery scandal at City Hall in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune. The company came to Chicago in 2003 and earned $120 million through contracts to install 384 cameras, that resulted in more than $400 million in traffic fines, the Tribune reported.
In 2016, a former Chicago City Hall manager who oversaw contracts with the company was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after receiving vacations, up to $2,000 for each camera installed, and other lavish gifts from Redflex. In 2017, Redflex agreed to a $20 million settlement with the city of Chicago, the Tribune reported.
According to city staff, a request for proposals to operate a red-light camera program returned only one bid, which was from Redflex.
If the council agrees to keep its red-light camera program and continue with Redflex, it could agree Tuesday to enter into a five-year contract not to exceed $234,000 a year, according to a staff report.
The council is scheduled to meet for its regular session beginning at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at 701 Laurel St. in the Menlo Park Civic Center.