National City Mayor Ron Morrison said the city will move ahead with a plan to contract with an Arizona vendor to install red light cameras at five different National City intersections.
Morrison said the city has been looking into a contract with Redflex Sytems Inc. for the past year and said they seem to have the best approach when it comes to traffic light safety.
"We can't have police officers on every corner," he said. "We did some research because we wanted it to be fair where there could not be cases of abuse," Morrison said.
But one community activist, Herman Baca of the Committee on Chicano Rights, said contracting with Redflex was not fair and would violate the rights of National City residents or persons of Mexican ancestry.
In a series of letters to city officials, Baca has been trying to convince the City Council to abandon talks with Redflex Systems because of Arizona's controversial immigration law, SB1070, which some critics argued encouraged racial profiling of Latinos.
In July, former City Attorney George Eiser wrote to Baca on behalf of the city, telling him that National City was not currently considering red light cameras at area intersections.
But Morrison said Eiser spoke out of turn and that when the time was right, the City Council would pursue negotiations with Redflex.
"I was elected to deal with National City, not this," Morrison said. "I'm not going to discriminate against individuals because of what the state legislature does ... otherwise, people may begin to discriminate against our business in National City because of what we do."