CLEVELAND -- Unless a possible legal challenge sidetracks the effort, Cleveland voters will decide if they want to keep or unplug the city's speed and red light traffic cameras this November.
The Board of Elections determined that the group, See Red Cleveland, had submitted enough good signatures to put the issue on the November ballot.
The group's waged a low-profile campaign and surprised city officials with their push to put the issue to a people's vote. It received help from a Cincinnati-area group and lawyer crusading against traffic cameras.
6,013 valid signatures were needed. Of the more than 13,000 signatures submitted, 6,613 were found to be valid.
Cleveland City Council will hold a meeting next Wednesday for the first of two meetings leading to approval. The Board of Elections would write ballot language.
Right now, 54 cameras monitor drivers citywide for speeding and red-light violations.
In 2012, the cameras generated $6 million for the city.
The charter proposal would require police officers to write tickets for any violations cameras detect. The camera system in place is completely automated to free up officers for other duties.
Some think there could be a legal challenge to attempt to roadblock the issue from coming to the ballot by either the city or Xerox, the camera contractor.
City spokesperson Maureen Harper said the city believes the camera system "is a valuable tool for improving public safety....and has positively influenced driver behavior. We will continue to work with the legal process established for voter referendums."
State law requires that issue petitions contain names collected in the last year but the Cleveland City Charter is silent on that issue.
The submitted signatures were collected over the last four years.
Nationwide, voters have chosen to unplug traffic cameras every time they've been given the chance to vote on the issue with one exception.
That was several years ago in East Cleveland.