The appearance of a new speed camera contract apparently came as a surprise to many council members Thursday night.
"We were all together at the (Maryland Association of Counties) conference when we heard about it last night," said Councilman Todd Huff, a Timonium Republican. "We all looked at each other in complete and total shock."
The council will hold a hearing on the contract next Tuesday. The would add seven new speed cameras to the current 15 and seven new red light cameras to the current eight within five months of council approval.
The county could also add an additional four cameras in the first five-year term of the contract.
The contractor would be paid about $6.2 million in the first five years. Two additional one-year extensions could bring the total compensation to about $9.1 million.
Huff spoke by phone while returning from Cambridge, MD Friday. He said he and his colleagues were unaware that the contract was scheduled to be brought to them next Tuesday until they began getting calls from reporters.
"I haven't changed my view point on the cameras one bit," said Huff. "But I can't fight them any more. I just want to make sure that no general fund money, no taxpayer money funds that program. I want to make sure the program is not upside down."
Huff said his council office has been flooded with calls opposing the new contract.
"Nobody in my district wants them," said Huff. "(County Executive Kevin Kamenetz) isn't going to win any prizes for this deal."