Our January agenda was the lightest I think I’ve ever had as a Board member. There was only one regular item: permitting the use of speed cameras near our schools, which really was a “no-brainer.” Speed is the major factor in many traffic accidents. The CDC estimates that speed cameras can reduce all crashes by 49% and serious-injury crashes by 44%. We needed permission from the General Assembly to use speed cameras and were finally allowed to use them near schools and on highway work zones (this last does not really apply to us).
It is good that we were earlier awarded technical assistance from the Council of Governments Regional Safety Program to develop guidelines for prioritization and placement of school zone speed cameras. This will help us as we work with a contractor (yet to be hired) to begin with 10 cameras. The cost of the program is estimated to be about $600K for camera installation, operation, ticketing and a new full-time employee to perform review and citation duties. Speeders must be going at least 10 mph over the limit to be ticketed. The ticket will be $50. It will probably be next fall before the cameras are operational. I am very hopeful this will help reduce speeding around our schools. Driver behavior around schools has gotten worse recently.
It is likely our upcoming agendas will be quite full to make up for the lighter ones recently. However, I was very grateful to have extra personal time recently with the holidays and lighter meetings. In late December, my 93-year-old mother and I decided she should come from Wisconsin and live here in Arlington. It was a scramble to arrange to have her few pieces of furniture and belongings moved rent an RV to make for a safe and comfortable ride for her; and work on transferring her health insurance, getting a new phone, etc., etc. It was frigid in Wisconsin, but we dodged the storms and bad weather and managed what ended up being a 17-hour drive. On the trip my sister introduced our mother to The Crown, which she enjoyed watching on the drive and continues to enjoy here.
My mother is now happily settled into her apartment about 2 miles from me. I am spending a lot of time with her, and I’m able to do a lot of my work from her apartment. Mom is pretty independent and capable, but I will need to provide a certain amount of support. I’ve become more cautious about Covid again and am, once again, doing most meetings virtually. I feel very lucky to be able to have my mother here.
I hope my readers are staying warm and healthy,