(CN) – A South Texas judge haled a public vote to install red-light cameras in Port Lavaca because the measure involves the city’s budget.
Calhoun County District Judge Joseph Kelly awarded Texas Traffic Safety Coalition summary judgment on its claims that Port Lavaca does not have the legal authority to place the measure up for a referendum.
“Because city of Port Lavaca Ordinance S-1-08 … implicates and involves the city’s budget and appropriates money for capital expenditures, it is not subject to the power of referendum as set forth in Article 5 Section 5.03 of the Port Lavaca City Charter,” the Wednesday opinion states.
Kelly based his conclusion that the referendum is inappropriate on the words “appropriates money” and “sets fees” in the language of the ordinance.
State law gives the city council the exclusive power to implement red-light cameras, according to the decision.
Port Lavaca is 130 miles southwest of Houston.