Hill defends bill targeting Bluff City's speed cameras

Hank Hayes • Feb 16, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Tennessee state Rep. Timothy Hill remains committed to his legislation banning Bluff City’s speed enforcement cameras despite criticism from the town’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

“I’m disappointed with the name calling,” Hill, R-Blountville, said when asked for a response to that criticism occurring at a board meeting Thursday night. “That doesn’t advance any discussion. ... I’m surprised that if the city is that concerned with my legislation — I figured they would be — I’m surprised they have not reached out to me at this point. I’ve never been invited to a BMA meeting. I have yet to have one of their aldermen reach out to me in any form or fashion to have a discussion on this.”

Bluff City aldermen warned that losing revenue from those speed cameras will hurt funding for various projects, including a Sullivan County-supported library in town.

The speed cameras, located on Highway 11-E are not in Bluff City’s downtown area and also catch motorists moving through business areas of the Piney Flats community.

Still, Hill said he is willing to hold talks with Bluff City’s elected officials on the bill.

“This legislation is not a surprise,” he said. “I’ve been talking about it for over a year. It was literally a campaign promise. I want to be the type of representative who follows through and does what he says he’s going to do.”

Hill’s bill has been assigned to be considered by a House Transportation Subcommittee. State Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, is the bill’s Senate sponsor. Two Northeast Tennessee GOP lawmakers, state Rep. Jon Lundberg of Bristol, and Hill’s brother, state Rep. Matthew Hill of Jonesborough, have signed on as House co-sponsors.

“I think there’s excellent support for the bill,” Timothy Hill said. “We’re just going to have to see. ... I have received no less than 30 constituent phone calls on my cell (phone) and at my office congratulating me for taking a stand.”

For more, go to www.capitol.tn.gov. Hill’s legislation is HB 314.

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