Welcome! This free speech community journal was created so the Maple Heights African American community could share videos, photos, events, articles, posts, ideas, thoughts, and information.  We're now exclusively on Facebook, so don't forget to also check out our Facebook page.  Have a fantastic day!

Monday, July 7, 2014



COAST brings campaign to ban
Red Light Cameras to Maple Heights Ohio.
 A Petition Drive to Stop the Unmanned Red Light Cameras is Well Underway in The City of Maple Heights.

A group of local Maple Heights residents  have teamed up with COAST (Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes) to limit  the use of unmanned photo-monitoring (photo radar/speeding/red light) cameras in Maple Heights.
The group will be circulating petitions to place a Charter Amendment on the November  ballot. The petition drive once completed will allow the residents of Maple Heights to vote on a Charter Amendment limiting the use of unmanned photo-monitoring  (photo radar/speeding/red light) cameras in the City of Maple Heights.
The Maple Heights Charter Amendment proposal  is modeled after Garfield Heights and will effectively ban unmanned red light and speeding cameras from being enforced within the City of Maple Heights.
The organizers need your help. if you are a registered voter and reside in Maple Hts and would like to sign the petition or volunteer to help circulate a petition to be signed on targeted streets throughout the City of Maple Heights please contact Celeste Wilburn XXX.XXX.XXXX
We are in the midst of a Petition Signing Drive to stop Maple Heights City Government from putting undue burdens upon its' residents and violating our Constitutional Rights by implementing RED LIGHT and Speed CAMERAS.

For more information:    Christopher P. Finney, 513-720-2996 (COAST) 
                                         Celeste Wilburn, XXX.XXX.XXXX(Maple Heights)



Anonymous said...

We'll be doing a lot of shopping @ the Giant Eagle in Beachwood.

We'll shop anywhere we can avoid Maple.

Anonymous said...

I'll go to other cities for banking, shopping, eating out, etc. This is ridiculous !

Anonymous said...

Maple just keeps getting worse

Anonymous said...

Avoided Warrensville Center Rd in Maple Hts. Shopped elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Mayor and law director seem to be on board w the red light cameras.

If this is so, this mayor and his appointed law director should go in the next election!!

Maple Heights African American Gazette said...

Our position on Youtube as stated @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUkvcGyniVU

"The use of speed cameras (in many cities and states) is under fire for being unconstitutional. In addition to, and at issue 1. where the cameras are used (in too many instances, predominantly poor and/or heavily minority areas) 2. the fact the registered car owner (who may not be the driver) is cited 3. the appeal process (of appealing the traffic ticket) 4. Green Light Yellow Light Traps 5. *Harm to the local economy 6. Photo radar cameras where the speed changes abruptly, and then 7. there's the issue with speed camera errors.

Traffic cameras' days may be numbered, Ohio lawmakers say:

Garfield Hts dropped their use of red light traffic cameras, and they are next door to Maple Heights. We didn't hear that in this council meeting. Just a mention about Newburgh Heights? You can always find someone to support your position. What you want to look for is overwhelming evidence.

We've also learned that the ticket is $100 and increases. Other cities across the U.S. who use those cameras don't charge that much. **[see letter to editor] Plus it's interesting that the ticket is so high when you consider that Maple Heights has about a 9.8% unemployment rate.

There are ways other than red light cameras to make communities safer from traffic. Did council explore those ways? This resolution passing at the same time Maple Heights is in fiscal watch? No one is stupid. So we guess this really is not about safety but revenue.

Why would a community open itself up to a litany of potential lawsuits and legal problems?

These council members did not (we're told) discuss the use of red light cameras in an open public forum to get the community's responses. If they had, they would have received (from recent responses) a resounding "no" to red light cameras.

Has Maple Heights decided what to do if red light cameras are ruled unconstitutional by a higher body? Will they be subject to giving back all that money?

There are a host of negative articles/studies about red light cameras and also camera error stories about the very same company Maple Heights chose. [Isn't Cleveland involved in a lawsuit or potential lawsuit w their red light camera equipment company right now?] Like we said, if you want to back your position you can find someone; however, when consitutional issues are at stake and overwhelming negative issues present, one may want to think twice before wading into muddy waters.


Cleveland traffic camera case hits red light at Ohio Supreme Court while similar case is decided

**Reduce fines for being caught by red light camera to limit controversy: Letter to the Editor

Democrats seek to make it easier to challenge Ohio laws in court

Traffic cameras may soon be eliminated in Ohio: What you're saying

Yellow Light problems:

Maple Heights African American Gazette said...

For clarification: We don't know who the company is that is involved in the Cleveland camera speed lawsuit.

Other documents and articles:


Attorney who stopped Elmwood cameras now going after Dayton's

Elmwood Place speed cameras: Drivers who paid tickets seek summary judgment, refunds


The Supreme Court of Ohio

Anonymous said...

Surveillance systems warrant careful research
March 17, 2013
Morning Journal News

At least two Columbiana County villages are considering speed-monitoring surveillance systems as a cost-efficient way to address the problem of motorists racing through their communities.

Rogers and Salineville village councils are looking at contracting with Maryland-based Optotraffic LLC, which manufactures and operates automated speed-enforcement machines that catch speeding motorists, using laser radar and cameras.

Both financially strapped villages are looking for ways to solve speeding problems in their towns while neither is able to increase their police presence. In Rogers' case, there has been no policeman for quite some time and council voted at last week's meeting to eliminate the police department and mayor's court, altogether.

In Rogers and Salineville both, Optotraffic would operate and maintain the $80,000 machines and issue the speeding citations in return for 40 percent of the fine money. The only expense to the communities would be in hiring a law enforcement officer to review the citation information and an attorney to conduct the administrative hearings for motorists who want to contest the citation. Furthermore, if the accused speeder then contests the ruling of the hearing officer, the case continues to county municipal court where the village must pay a county prosecutor to prosecute the case. Optotraffic would notify motorists by mail that they had been cited.

While we understand both communities' need to address the problem of motorists speeding through their towns without increasing costs and they both probably see this fine revenue as a potential cash cow, we hope their village councils will do their homework and give this proposal a lot of consideration before jumping in feet first.

Just last week, a Hamilton County, Ohio judge ruled that the village ordinance that allowed Elmwood Place to install speed cameras is unenforceable and violates motorists' due process.

Judge Robert Ruehlman granted a permanent injunction and prohibited further use of the cameras and called the village's traffic camera system a game that Optotraffic, has a financial stake in.

"I used the term 'game' because Elmwood Place is engaged in nothing more than a high-tech game of 3-Card Monty," the judge wrote in his ruling. "It is a scam that the motorists can't win. The entire case against the motorist is stacked because the speed monitoring device is calibrated and controlled by Optotraffic." Ruehlman wrote in the ruling.

Rogers Village Solicitor Michelle Simonelli warned council to prepare for the public backlash. "People will get angry over this and will appeal it on principle," she said.

If that turns out to be true, this "automatic" revenue builder could end up costing more than it's worth.

At Rogers' meeting the Optotraffic representative, Dorian Grubaugh, dismissed the Elmwood court decision noting Optotraffic has survived other legal challenges and expects to win on appeal in the Elmwood case as well.

State legislators near Elmwood have also introduced a bill prohibiting the use of these systems, but Grubaugh said past efforts to pass a ban have failed. "We're not concerned with the legislation. The legislation is proposed every year," he said.

"Whatever the media wants to say is inaccurate. The goal is safety," Grubaugh said. What the media says doesn't matter, it's what the judge says that does.

The officials of these villages would be better off reading up on the court decisions and pending legislation rather than listening to the advice of a salesman whose company stands to profit greatly from the installation of this system.

Anonymous said...

Read also post and comments at:



Anonymous said...

Ohio: Optotraffic Settles Lawsuit Over Confiscated Speed Cameras



Optotraffic Contract with Cheverly Canceled, Town Records Expose Camera Errors


Anonymous said...

AAA Clashes with City, Optotraffic Over Speed Cameras



Anonymous said...

Why would businesses want to come to Maple Height or stay in Maple Heights with all these photo radar cameras on their streets that might chase away customers?

Remember, in most business districts, the speed limit is 25mph. Some folks go 30 or 31. A photo radar camera that is calibrated to ticket at 25 or has a 1 to 5 mph error in calibration would ticket these vehicles, while a police officer might overlook the 30 or 31 mph.

Maple Heights African American Gazette said...

Maple Heights (OH) residents:

Among a whole host of things you need to know
1. Was there a special public forum/hearing or a ballot vote on the photo radar cameras before the Optotraffic signed contract?

2. What was in the contract that was signed by Maple Heights public officials and Optotraffic?

3. Was there a two week period after a camera went up where only warnings and not tickets were given?

4. Were public records introduced that gave the location of each "speed related" accident on public (not private) property in the last 2 years?

Anonymous said...

Is the two week warning period after the 30 day grace period? Or, is it after the cameras go live?

Anonymous said...

I have lived in Maple Heights almost 20 years. I keep up my property and pay my taxes faithfully.

When our city government lost money as part of the Jimmy Dimora scandal, it hurt ever resident in Maple Heights. Supposedly, our city could not afford Little League Baseball, the newly remodeled swimming pool could not be opened, and we could not have fireworks for the 4th of July.

Property value is steadily going down but property taxes are not. The water and sewer bills have risen because we as a city "Cleveland" have been conserving too much water.

So the answer now is to put the burden of Maple Heights City government's financial bungling on the backs of the community through traffic camera? Shame on you City Maple Heights governing body.

We the resident of Maple Heights do our part in supporting our local businesses, rallying behind our school system, and help as individuals to keep our community as beautiful as possible.

There have been 26 fatalities in car accidents in Maple Heights from 1975 to 2010. This was a 35 year span, though no death is wanted, this is not a high ratio. Safe driving is not our issue, so do not hide behind that screen.

Mr. Mayor find another way to restore the depleted coffers of this community other than pulling money from our pockets "the residents" that we can not afford.

Anonymous said...

I just received a ticket in the mail yesterday (8/11/14) for supposedly going 36 in a 25 on Warrensville Center Road in Maple Heights on July 30th. I live 45 mins from Maple Heights and was only there to shop at a store that we don't have in my city. I'm not at all familiar with that area. When you don't see a speed sign posted, you automatically assume it's a 35mph zone. So I was going 36!!! Needless to say, I won't be visiting that area anytime soon so I believe the residents and store owners are suffering from these speed cameras. I will keep my dollars in my own city. Thanks Maple Heights!

Jakki Dennis said...

I received 3 tickets in a month. I thought they kept sending me the same ticket. I am very upset. Maple Heights should be ashamed of itself. I have lived here for many years and this is a travesty of justice. I want to fight them. Subsequently like everyone else I will avoid the area and go elsewhere to shop. I am disappointed in Maple Heights. I will use my vote to vote the Mayor and everyone involved out of office.

Anonymous said...

Like some other posters here, my wife received a ticket in the mail. The time was wrong and the speed, too. I was the one driving, had spotted the ticket camera, and was driving 25. Just about everything on the ticket is wrong.

I don't live in Maple Heights, but the Home Depot there is no further from my house than some of the other Home Depot locations. The employees are friendly and helpful. The lines at this location are not usually long. I also will shop at other businesses nearby as this area is a hidden gem.

A one $100+ ticket is too steep a premium for a few bags of fertilizer. Like other posters here I will take my business elsewhere. It's unfortunate and I like shopping there, but I have a family, too.

Anonymous said...

Vote "yes" on Issue 99 and those unmanned speed/traffic cameras will be banned by charter amendment.

The only way you can get a ticket is an officer must be present to hand you a ticket.