Mayor Gaskin calls an insurance camera veto

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — On Tuesday night, the Columbus City Council voted in favor of a contract with the company Securix to install cameras designed to track down uninsured drivers.

Mayor Keith Gaskin and Ward 2 Councilman Joseph Mickens have expressed concerns about the service.

Mickens was the only no.

Today Mayor Keith Gaskin vetoed the decision.

Mayor Gaskin said he believed the vote was passed with good intentions, but did not fully agree with the impact 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 drivers. uninsured drivers.

Even during the discussion, Mayor Keith Gaskin and Deputy Mayor Joseph Mickens expressed concerns about the program’s impact.

These concerns prompted the mayor to veto the measure.

Gaskin says he thinks this vote felt a little rushed and he wishes he could take more time and take a closer look at the service.

“I decided to veto this decision for several reasons. Mainly, I don’t think we know enough about this company and the technology. I feel like the board moved a bit quickly on this and I’m not saying there won’t be a time and place for this at some point,” Gaskin said.

Mayor Gaskin says he’s spoken to the people of Columbus and listened to the issues they have, and he thinks it would hurt some community members more than it would help.

“I regularly meet citizens and I understand the difficulties they face in meeting their financial needs and there are really people who have to choose between whether they will have car insurance or whether they will have enough to eat or pay their light bills,” Gaskin said.

Gaskin says he understands the council’s point of view.

“I don’t blame the council for their decision. One of the things they see in there is that. They want people to follow the law and have insurance, but they also see it as a source of revenue that could go to the police department and that could be very helpful. I fully understand the thoughts on this.”

But Gaskin says his job is to make sure all of Columbus is taken care of.

“When you look at situations like this you really have to look at the whole community that you serve and I don’t see any evidence where this type of method would increase the number of insured drivers we have on the road,” said said Gaskin.

City attorney Jeff Turnage said there were also legal issues that had not been considered and that it would be best to get the attorney general’s opinion before putting the program into effect. .

Councilman Stephen Jones recently issued a statement: