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Committee OKs Red Light Ticket Collection Service Agreement

The issues goes before the Abington Board of Commissioners Thursday night.

The corner of Susquehanna and Old York roads-- the future site of a red light camera in Abington. Credit: Mischa Arnosky
The corner of Susquehanna and Old York roads-- the future site of a red light camera in Abington. Credit: Mischa Arnosky

The Abington Public Safety Committee OK'd a motion allowing the township to enter into an agreement with Municipal Collections of America, Inc. (MCOA) for the collection of delinquent red light camera violations. 

The firm Gatso, Inc., which will install and operate the red light camera hardware in the township, subcontracts with MCOA to collect the delinquent violations.

Read more about Abington's red light cameras here.

Abington Police Chief William Kelly said that collecting delinquent violations from red light cameras is a specialized business, and that working with MCOA would streamline the process.

But Abington Commissioner Steven Kline expressed concern that Gatso and MCOA are too closely affiliated with each other; Kline said the contract to collect delinquent violations should have gone to a request for proposal. 

"The close tie between the two breaks down the checks and balances," Kline said. "The fact that they're connected concerns me. I don't know why this didn't go out to RFP."

Kelly said because there's no cost affiliated with the agreement, there couldn't be a competitive bid process. 

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Delinquent violations?

If a driver cruises through a red light and gets a picture snapped of his or her license plate, the driver will be issued a violation and will be given 30 days to pay. After that, a second notice is issued. After 51 days, a third and final notice will be issued. After 79 days, the violation will go to the collection agency and the driver will be charged an extra 35 percent (which is $35). 

Commissioner John Spiegelman said it feels like Gatso is putting the township in an "awkward position by springing this on us late in the game."

"It feels as if it looks like the township missed a step in this process," he said. 

Abington Police Officer Chris Posey said MCOA is reputable and has been in business for more than 20 years; he added that the company collects delinquent violations for more than 80 municipalities across the country and said that Gatso does work with other collection companies.

Resident Lora Lehman said she agreed with Kline, adding complaints about the collection company could go unheard because MCOA has a relationship with Gatso, which is essentially driving the business.

DeeJay Havoc December 12, 2013 at 11:57 PM
Wow.. No comments of anyone crying about this? I guess they now realized they elected a commissioner who had no idea 2 of these cameras were going up in the ward he is now commissioner of. clueless people in ward 10, right along side hecker.
Tedd "Brewmeister" Reilly December 14, 2013 at 03:11 PM
The only one who seems to be crying all the time "DeeJay Havoc" is YOU. every single post your crying about the ward 10 election - and all while your hidden by a fake name, which is a real classic online bully move, sorry but its true. This is AMERICA and the voters had there say on election day which was over 1 month ago! They voted all over town and some Democrats won and some Republicans won - thats how it works in the U S of A. The people of ward #10 picked Hecker - and if they dont like the job he does they can pick somebody else in 4 years - thats the way it goes. and its not like it was close either- the numbers say that Hecker won by a real big margin over Jaime Maertz. Maybe people in Abington didnt want to elect somebody who leaves Tea Party type comments all over the Patch. like this http://norristown.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/get-your-passport-on-saturday and this http://abington.patch.com/groups/bob-with-a-cs-blog/p/bp--to-the-undecided-voters ( this is where she says to keep nitwits out of the voting booth -maybe the ward #10 people don't like to be called NITWITS) or this one, http://abington.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/june-pa-poll-shows-obama-48-to-romney-36-f6b38206 and this one- http://norristown.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/obamacare-protestors-take-to-the-streets-in-norristown ( multipel comments on that one ) So "DeeJay Havoc" if you care so much about Ward 10 then maybe you should run for commissioner there, but first I think youll have to stop hiding behind a fake name like an *internet tough guy* and also stop calling the voters "the clueless people in ward 10"- funny but i dont think people like being called clueless.....
DeeJay Havoc December 15, 2013 at 01:05 AM
Internet tuff guy? Explain to me 1 think i said trying to act tuff. Fake name? This is my attached facebook account, google it you idiot. DJ Havoc is who i am and is it my fault patch attached the 'display' name instead of my real name? No... Get a grip on yourself. And yes 'FACT' hecker had NO idea about the red light cameras until or abound election day. despite local media blasting it.
Tedd "Brewmeister" Reilly December 15, 2013 at 02:22 PM
"Idiot"? Looks like somebody's a little bit sensitive ! So let me see- your allowed to go after Hecker in post after post and call all of the people in an entire *ward* of Abington Township as "clueless people " - but as soon as somebody calls you on it then its time to whine and cry and call names. Last time i checked the comment sections of the Internet can be a pretty rough nieghborhood- bigboy pantyloons required, maybe you can buy some right in ward 10 at the TJMax or Target LOL! And if your gonna call a whole Ward of Abington "clueless people" then maybe you should get a clue yourself because theres only *1* red light camera thats going in ward #10- the other 2 camera's are in other wards. Maybe if you pay some attention and do your homework instead of calling people "clueless" and "idiot" you might learn a thing or 2.....
Kay December 16, 2013 at 08:06 AM
I think that everybody's a little bit wrong about something here: Tedd, you did something in these comments that I've seen you do in other comments- You can't automatically assume that just because somebody uses a screen name instead of their real name that they're automatically doing it in order to play internet bully. I don't use my full name because there are a lot of trolls out there who start stalking and harassing whenever they see a woman's name. Did you even stop for a second to think that maybe Dee is a female who wants to protect her identity in the same way? Not everyone on the internet is male, Tedd, and not everyone has the same exact perspective and experiences as you. Dee, Tedd is right about a couple of things. Resorting to name calling and lumping an entire "ward" of people into your name calling is a bit ridiculous. Also, there is only one Ward 10 location that's been approved for red light cameras, and that is the intersection of Old York & Old Welsh Roads. The other two locations are in Ward 8 at Moreland & Fitzwatertown and the one at Old York & Susquehanna, which borders wards 7 & 11. I have spoken with current Commissioner Ring and Commissioner Elect Hecker, and both gentlemen have always been fully aware of the red light camera coming to Ward 10. So whoever suggested to you that one or both gentlemen was unaware of the camera was misinformed. Just sayin' :) Play nice, kids.
Tedd "Brewmeister" Reilly December 16, 2013 at 09:45 AM
The Mrs. read this thread and says that kay is right and I should apologize to you ladies- so SORRY. But that is sincere cause I surley did not mean to offend. i just think FAIR IS FAIR and when I see somebody saying something UNfair then I have to say something - but I guess that *i* was also being unfair- so yeah ladies i am sorry and I do apologize.

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