• Washington: A Bright Future

Guy W. Midkiff

When someone runs for a political office, they usually speak in vague generalities, almost the way a fortune teller does, so that their message has broad appeal and collects the most favorable opinions possible, but rarely is there any substance in their message.

I am not a professional politician. I am an airline Captain, with a military background, and a business owner. I have a degree in economics (agriculture economics) from Texas A&M University. I make no excuses for my conservative beliefs and am a fervent student of Reaganomics. And unlike my opponent, I am very clear about what I stand for.


1. reduce the growth of government spending,
2. reduce marginal tax rates on income from labor and capital,
3. reduce regulation,
4. control the money supply to reduce inflation.

I believe the City of Washington has strayed dramatically from our fiscally conservative heritage and quite possibly may be causing serious problems for our future. On a micro-economic scale, we can do nothing about item “4.” But we can certainly address items 1-3, though.

Speaking of regulation, it comes in several forms. Regulation is necessary to ensure the public good, but can quickly over-reach. Here we must have balance. Many good construction jobs have been lost to surrounding communities because some builders find the Washington regulatory environment too restrictive. This is not my opinion, but based on actual conversations I have had with builders and developers.

Part of the problem comes from the fact that very few people in our city government has ever run a business or had to meet a payroll. No doubt, all are extraordinary people in their own right, but have never had to develop a budget or analyze complex projects based on returns on income or generally accepted accounting principles.

One only needs to read the local newspaper to see the recent and many wrong turns on capital expenditures, this city government has taken. We have and are spending money in areas that can either wait or be tabled permanently. The water sewer treatment plant is a classic example. No doubt we will need the plant, but…did we go about the financing of the project in the proper manner? Is it possible that we could have avoided the almost tripling of water/sewer rates and the $20M bond financing? Did we consider the dramatic affect a near tripling of water/sewer rates will have on those of us on fixed incomes??

Maybe we could have spent less on other projects and focused more on the basics – things we need, as opposed to things we want. The spending spree we have been on for the last 5 years is not conservative, it is big-city-ways, that will get us in big-city-problems. To show how far we have strayed, our city council actually tried to pass an ordinance requiring a certified arborist to trim our own trees – give me a break.

We must begin by rolling back the tax rate, each and ever year. Are we conducting city business as efficiently as possible? The first thing a corporation does when belt tightening begins is slashing costs. One dollar cut from cost is significantly more valuable than one dollar of tax revenue raised. Dollars cut goes directly to the bottom line, one tax dollar brought in, does not translate to one full dollar because of the inherent inefficiencies of the tax collecting and distribution process. So, taking in less money will force new efficiencies in the system.

Also, while we lavish dollars on large corporations through corporate welfare handouts, let’s not forget that one-dollar spent on an indigenous business keeps three times as much of that dollar in the local community, than does a dollar spent on a nation chain. (The local business: buys a local car, eats in a local restaurant, and uses a local bank, doctor, lawyer and mechanic. I could go on and on.

Also, never forget that that fancy fortune 500 corporation will not hesitate giving pink slips to 500 people and moving their jobs to Mexico – over night.

So go ahead and build them their $6.5 Million dollar runways, but never forget the vital importance of local businesses.

As we move into the future, I would like to see varied businesses develop here. We all ready have:

• Outstanding work ethic.
• Natural proximity to the Missouri River and a major interstate.
• Geographically centered.
• In place banking industry.
• In place industrial park.
• Dramatically growing medical facilities.
• Nearby university.

Some new areas we should consider:

• Bio-technology
• Medical-technology
• Hi-Tech
• Communication
• Research
• Alternative Energy

We should aggressively pursue developing the infrastructure and framework to attract such companies. I would like to see a venture capital forum convene here next year and begin committing to the type of venture capital such businesses need for seed money.

A fresh look should be given to developing Initiative Teams to develop new, successful, growth strategies. We absolutely must make sure our core competencies are well represented at the state and federal levels.
Washington must be seen as a business friendly community that not only caters to corporate America, but also the boutique and entrepreneurs that will retrench larger portions of their profits, back in our community.

If we want to keep our child and children’s children, in our community, we simply must make a huge commitment to advanced educational programs.

Better Education = Better Jobs

Our Future is Bright!
Guy W. Midkiff


• Red Light Cameras: Sticks to Script

Guy W. Midkiff

One of the aspects of getting the public to accept Red Lights Cameras is the importance of the “script.” This is a carefully crafted document developed by the Red Light Camera companies to make sure the sheep are all herded in the proper direction. And thanks to the power of the internet, it isn’t very difficult proving my point.

Take for example the new page on the City of Washington Website where they developed a FAQ page. There you will see, literally, the script they use where no attempt is even made to change the propaganda:

Exhibit A, City of Washington:

What is a Red-light Camera Enforcement Program?

This is a traffic safety program in which a city uses a state-of-the-art digital camera and violation detection system installed at intersections for the purpose of decreasing the number of red-light runners and reducing collisions.

Exhibit B, City of Phoenix (notice uncanny similarities):



Q:  What is a Red Light Camera Enforcement Program?

A: This is a traffic safety program in which a city utilizes state-of-the-art digital camera and violation detection system installed at intersections for the purpose of decreasing the number of red-light runners and reducing collisions.

Published in: on March 27, 2008 at 7:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

• State Trooper “X”

Guy W. Midkiff

Yesterday I met State Trooper “X.” State Trooper X’s name will remain anonymous. What I want to say to him (as I know he is reading) is thanks. Thanks for constantly putting your butt on the line for our safety. Thanks for putting up with all the bull that faces you; from a broken judicial system, to mountains of paper work.

Each time Trooper X makes a stop, it could end up in tragedy. Each time Trooper X is called out, he may very well not come home to his young family. What ever we pay them it “aint” [sic] enough.

You and I may have a gentlemans disagreement about the efficacy of Red Light Cameras, but you and the rest of law enforcement will always have my unfettered and unwaivering support. I simply can not put into words the respect I have for LEO’s.

BTW, Trooper X, I have made good on toning down my blog – hopefully you have already noted all the changes. 🙂

Be safe, friend.
Guy W. Midkiff

Published in: on March 27, 2008 at 6:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

• Ameren Selling Customer Info to City Of Washington

Guy W. Midkiff


On 08-06-2007, the City of Washington passed ordinance no. 07-10277, introduced by Councilman Tim Brinker. To quote:

An ordinance to enter into an agreement with Ameren UE for notification to the city by Ameren UE Company when there is a successor of existing utility service, in The City of Washington, Franklin County, Missouri.

The ordinance goes on to pay Ameren UE $200 (Not clear if this is per month or one time) for the customer information, of course paid with our tax dollars.

Here is an email exchange with a representative from Ameren:

My name is Guy Midkiff and I live in Washington, Missouri. Can you please tell me whether or not Ameren UE is providing or selling their customer data base to the City of Washington, Missouri.
From: SGallagher@ameren.com
Subject: RE: Selling Customer Data Base
Date: March 23, 2008 11:02:32 AM EDT

We don’t share our customer names to my knowledges with any outside party. Can you explain?

Bottom Line: Your personal information is being sold, by Ameren UE, to the City of Washington, so as to police their occupancy inspections. You had no say-so in the matter, nor what measures The City of Washington is taking to protect your personal and private information.

This is a continuation of this administrations big government and intrusive big-city-ways, slowly disregarding the rights of its individual citizens. Remember, it is only for your safety.

•Occupancy Inspections
•Red Light Cameras
•Ticket Quotas
•Video Cameras at Intersections
•Accessing Your Private Information

Call Ameren and the City of Washington. Tell them to stop using your personal information.

Ameren UE: Mrs. Galagher (314) 554-2175
City of Washington: Mayor 390-1000

Published in: on March 25, 2008 at 9:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

• Red Light Camera: Resource Page

Guy W. Midkiff

    Studies and Reports (source TheNewsPaper.com)


Popular Studies

Red Light Camera Study Roundup

2008 Florida Public Health Review

2007 Virginia DOT: Cameras Increase Injury Accidents

2005 Washington Post: Accidents Doubled with Cameras

2004 North Carolina: Red Light Camera Study (Burkey-Obeng)

Majority Leader Armey Red Light Camera Report

Longer Yellows Reduce Crashes (TX Transportation Institute)

HOV/Carpool Lanes Cause Accidents

Hundreds of RLC Tickets Tossed Out

Tennessee: Red Light Camera Causes Another Serious Accident


6 Cities Caught Shortening Yellow Lights for PROFIT!

Georgia Senate Restricts, Maine Rejects Red Light Cameras

Red Light Cameras in Georgia, It’s About The Money!

Texas Study: Red Light Camera Crashes Up 52 % in Lubbock

Stockton, California Report Shows Accidents Jump With Cameras

Seattle Red Light Cameras Fail to Reduce Accidents


Delaware Report Uses Bad Math to Support Red Light Cameras

Avondale, Arizona Red Light Cameras Fail to Reduce Accidents
2007 Virginia DOT Report Shows Red Light Cameras Increase Accidents
Swampscott, Massachusetts Report Rejects Red Light Cameras

2002: Baltimore Judge’s Report on Red Light Cameras

Study: Cameras Increase Fatal Rear End Accidents (Ontario)

US Intersection Fatalities and Camera Enforcement

Raleigh, NC Red Light Camera Study

Virginia DOT Study Shows Cameras Increase Injury Accidents

Impact of Red Light Camera Enforcement on Crash Experience

Burkey-Obeng Red Light Camera Study

San Diego Smoking Gun Documents

Red Light Running Crisis: Is it Intentional

Australian Study of Red Light Cameras (Andreassen)
Weekly Standard Expose on Camera Enforcement
San Diego Red Light Camera Defense Team Report

Studies and Reports


Summary of RLC’s(*This is a must read)

Minnesota Supreme Court Strikes Down Red Light Cameras
Oregon Appeals Court Applies Speedy Trial Protection to Photo Tickets
Michigan Attorney General Says Red Light Cameras Illegal
Minnesota: Appeals Court Rules Against Cameras
North Carolina Appeals Court Rules Against Red Light Cameras
Courts Act to Protect DC Camera Program
Costa Mesa, CA Red Light Camera Decision

Places using red-light cameras and how many communities use them:• Arizona: 8 communities
• California: 82
• Colorado: 6
• Delaware: 5
• District of Columbia: 1
• Florida: 1
• Georgia: 22
• Illinois: 5
• Iowa: 5
• Maryland: 24
• Massachusetts: 1
• Missouri: 6
• New Mexico: 1
• New York: 1
• North Carolina: 5
• Ohio: 9
• Oregon: 4
• Pennsylvania: 1
• Rhode Island: 1
• South Dakota: 1
• Tennessee: 6
• Texas: 24
• Washington: 6Sources: Federal Highway Administration and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Published in: on March 10, 2008 at 7:15 pm  Comments (2)  

• Ticket Quota’s: Why They Are Bad

Guy W. Midkiff

I viewed the 3-3-08 City Council Meeting and found the discussion on Ticket Quota’s very interesting. One of the council members took the city to task over the parsing of the words: “Ticket Quotas” and “Goals.” While the conversation whip-sawed back and forth, I “think” the Mayor and Police Chief actually admitted we have a quota system. The Chief clearly said that “quotas were not illegal in Missouri” which could only leave the layman to conclude that the City has no problems with the quota system.

Of course this flies in the face of the City’s stern proclamation that “Washington Does Not Have a Quota System.” I am left some what confused and bewildered and will try and upload video footage of the meeting so that you can decide for your self.

So, why are ticket quota’s bad?

Well, whatever name you give it, this system is bad for both the public and police. “The public receives unjustified tickets and increased insurance charges. At the same time, the police are harmed because the public has less confidence in them. There are better ways to evaluate the performance of the police.”

Quotas take officers away from other duties, such as patrolling communities, in order to generate revenue for the city.

Police serve in the sometimes tricky nexus between the rights of free citizens and the need for government to impose order. It’s a tough enough job without a city putting them in the position of tax collector. And public perception that police are, in fact, tax collectors is an even greater disservice.

I was taught long ago, though, if you can’t do or suggest better, stop you belly aching. So here is my solution:

Since drivers operate motor vehicles under a privilege granted by the state, let the cash penalties for violations of that privilege flow to the state, not to local city government.
This approach solves several problems at once. If traffic fines went to the state, all motive, and thus all suspicion, would be removed from local governments. A cloud of distrust would be lifted from police. Officers would be able to focus on enforcing the traffic laws. Motorists would have to face the reality that it was their own bad driving, not the greed of government, that earned them a ticket. And police departments could establish performance criteria without being accused of ripping people off.

Published in: on March 4, 2008 at 10:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

• Washington City Employees

Guy Midkiff

It struck me (again) at about 3 this  morning, when I awoke to the sound of snow plows clearing our streets and again when garbage crews, around 6:30, were out collecting trash cans – when no one else dared venture out in near blizzard conditions, this frigid morning.

I think many often take what our city employees do for granted. These dedicated employees are the unsung hero’s of Washington. They are seldom recognized because they are so reliable and do their jobs so professionally. The same can be said for our dedicated police force – if I could just figure out how to get them on as full time employees and not “at will” employees.

We must also give credit to the Mayor for taking a leadership role in the community and taking Washington to the next step in its current growth cycle. I may not agree with the Boss on every issue, but his drive and determination must be respected and I certainly do respect our Mayor for what he has accomplished. I also appreciate him sending my blog address to most of the city employees and giving me the opportunity to speak to you personally. I also appreciate the personal emails that the city employees have sent me and promise you my unwaivering support as I said in my replies.

Thanks folks for your hard work, it is very much appreciated.

Guy Midkiff

Published in: on March 4, 2008 at 5:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

• Red Light Cameras Fail to Reduce Accidents

D.C. Red-Light Cameras Fail to Reduce Accidents
By Del Quentin Wilber and Derek Willis
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, October 4, 2005; Page A01

The District’s red-light cameras have generated more than 500,000 violations and $32 million in fines over the past six years. City officials credit them with making busy roads safer.

But a Washington Post analysis of crash statistics shows that the number of accidents has gone up at intersections with the cameras. The increase is the same or worse than at traffic signals without the devices.

D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said citations for red-light running have dropped by about 60 percent at intersections that have the cameras.

D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said citations for red-light running have dropped by about 60 percent at intersections that have the cameras.

Monitored Intersections
The D.C. government installed the first of its red-light cameras in 1999. By the following year, 37 intersections were covered in the city, some with more than one camera. The number of traffic accidents at the 37 intersections has gone up since the cameras were installed. The increase is the same or worse than at the 1,520 intersections with traffic lights that do not have red-light cameras.

Three outside traffic specialists independently reviewed the data and said they were surprised by the results. Their conclusion: The cameras do not appear to be making any difference in preventing injuries or collisions.

“The data are very clear,” said Dick Raub, a traffic consultant and a former senior researcher at Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety. “They are not performing any better than intersections without cameras.”

The District started the camera program in 1999, and from the beginning, officials said they were aiming to curtail red-light running and accidents. At the time, Terrance W. Gainer, then the second-highest ranking D.C. police official, said the cameras would “get people to stop at red lights and avoid crashes. . . . Hopefully, we’ll have a few less messes to clean up.”

D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said he remains convinced that the devices are worthwhile. Even if the number of crashes is not going down, he said, citations for red-light running have dropped by about 60 percent at intersections that have cameras.

Ramsey said the number of accidents would be even higher without the cameras, adding that he would like to install them at every traffic light in the city. He pointed to last year’s steep decrease in traffic fatalities — 45 people died compared with 69 in 2003 — as evidence that the program is working.

“I’d rather have them than not have them,” Ramsey said. “They make people slow down. They reduce the number of traffic violations, and that’s a good thing.”

City officials attribute the increase in accidents to higher traffic volume. But that does not explain why the presence of cameras has failed to slow the rate of accidents at those intersections, Raub and others said. The outside experts suggested that the cameras might be more useful at other locations, and D.C. officials said they are studying the issue.

The city has cameras at 45 intersections. They take photographs of cars running red lights, generating tickets that are processed by a private contractor. Police oversee the issuance of tickets, which carry $75 fines, and the money goes into the city’s general fund — nearly $5 million last year.

The Post obtained a D.C. database generated from accident reports filed by police. The data covered the entire city, including the 37 intersections where cameras were installed in 1999 and 2000.

The analysis shows that the number of crashes at locations with cameras more than doubled, from 365 collisions in 1998 to 755 last year. Injury and fatal crashes climbed 81 percent, from 144 such wrecks to 262. Broadside crashes, also known as right-angle or T-bone collisions, rose 30 percent, from 81 to 106 during that time frame. Traffic specialists say broadside collisions are especially dangerous because the sides are the most vulnerable areas of cars.

The number of crashes and injury collisions at intersections with cameras rose steadily through 2001, then dipped through 2003 before spiking again last year.

The results were similar or worse than figures at intersections that have traffic signals but no cameras. The number of overall crashes at those 1,520 locations increased 64 percent; injury and fatal crashes rose 54 percent; and broadside collisions rose 17 percent.

D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said citations for red-light running have dropped by about 60 percent at intersections that have the cameras.

Monitored Intersections
The D.C. government installed the first of its red-light cameras in 1999. By the following year, 37 intersections were covered in the city, some with more than one camera. The number of traffic accidents at the 37 intersections has gone up since the cameras were installed. The increase is the same or worse than at the 1,520 intersections with traffic lights that do not have red-light cameras.
reader forum

Overall, total crashes in the city rose 61 percent, from 11,333 in 1998 to 18,250 last year.

Lon Anderson, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, said the data reinforce the motor club’s view that the red-light effort is targeted more at generating revenue than at reducing crashes. “They are making a heck of a lot of money, and they are picking the motorists’ pockets on the pretense of safety,” he said.

Red-light cameras are used in 12 states, including Maryland, where they are deployed in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. In Virginia, the General Assembly eliminated red-light cameras this year partly because of concerns raised by some legislators about civil liberties. The action affected six Northern Virginia jurisdictions: Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax City, Fairfax County, Falls Church and Vienna.

The District installed its first batch of 26 cameras in 1999. City officials added 14 the next year. Some intersections have more than one camera to cover different approaches. All told, the cameras installed in 1999 and 2000 covered 38 intersections; a camera subsequently was removed from one of them.

Ramsey said city officials put the cameras where police noticed the most red-light running. At the start of the program, police officials said they also received advice on camera placement from residents and from the private contractor that operated the devices.

Nine more cameras were installed in July, boosting the number of monitored intersections to 45. Most of those drivers ticketed come from outside the city. In August, for example, less than one-fourth of the citations were issued to motorists from the District.

D.C. police also operate photo-radar devices that take pictures of speeding motorists. Because many of these cameras are mobile and used at varying times, they were not included in The Post’s review.

Douglas Noble, the chief traffic engineer for the D.C. Department of Transportation, said his office was examining crash data and plans to review the red-light camera locations. The department collects the data from police reports and advises police about where to install the devices.

Noble said that no studies have been conducted on the District’s red-light cameras in several years but that he “would not disagree” with The Post’s analysis. “I don’t necessarily have an explanation” for the trends, he said.

He added that he believes the severity of injury crashes has decreased at camera locations. The city crash database does not categorize the severity of crashes.

D.C. Red-Light Cameras Fail to Reduce Accidents

AAA and other critics have accused the city of installing cameras in high-volume locations where they could generate thousands of tickets, regardless of how many accidents happened there.

The analysis raised questions about where police installed the cameras. Nine intersections with cameras had two or fewer crashes annually in 1998 and 1999; seven reported no crashes that led to injuries or fatalities during that period. Officials installed cameras at six of the 20 most crash-prone intersections in 1998, data show.

D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said citations for red-light running have dropped by about 60 percent at intersections that have the cameras.
D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said citations for red-light running have dropped by about 60 percent at intersections that have the cameras. (By Gerald Martineau — The Washington Post)
Monitored Intersections
The D.C. government installed the first of its red-light cameras in 1999. By the following year, 37 intersections were covered in the city, some with more than one camera. The number of traffic accidents at the 37 intersections has gone up since the cameras were installed. The increase is the same or worse than at the 1,520 intersections with traffic lights that do not have red-light cameras.

Seventeen of the 45 intersections now covered by red-light cameras were ranked among the 50 most accident-prone locations in the District last year.

Individual results at intersections vary, the analysis shows.

The camera at New York Avenue and Fourth Street NW, for example — on one of Washington’s busiest commuter routes — has generated the most tickets in the city: more than 150,000 since 1999. Although the number of monthly citations there has dropped 65 percent, crashes nearly doubled, from 12 in 1998 to 23 last year.

The number of crashes has decreased in recent years at another busy spot, Bladensburg Road and New York Avenue NE, where cameras have generated more than 73,000 tickets. The intersection had 35 crashes in 1998, 88 in 2001 and 71 last year.

The camera at Wisconsin Avenue and Brandywine Street NW has produced nearly 30,000 tickets, but its crash totals have hovered around two a year.

Advocates for the cameras point to research such as a recent national study by the Federal Highway Administration that showed the number of broadside crashes dipped 25 percent at sites with cameras. The study found that rear-end crashes rose 15 percent at camera locations. But because broadside crashes are more dangerous and cause greater damage, the study concluded that the cameras can help reduce the costs of traffic accidents.

Gang-Len Chang, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Maryland, said cameras can be useful in reducing serious crashes if deployed properly.

Chang and the other traffic specialists said the city should not abandon red-light cameras. Rather, they said, the mixed results indicate that D.C. officials should conduct a thorough review of camera sites.

“They definitely should look at the locations and find where the cameras would be much more effective,” said Nicholas J. Garber, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Virginia who studied the use of red-light cameras in Fairfax County.

Published in: on March 2, 2008 at 10:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

• Street Talk

Street Talk is a page regarding my experiences while walking the streets of Ward III and some of the conversations that I have with residents.

Have now spent 5 days meeting people in my Ward. So far, I am being told that I am the first Ward 3 Candidate to go door to door. It has been fun getting to know people in my Ward and daunting at the same time. I think I know how a salesman must feel doing “cold-calls.”

I have been bit by one dog, so far, and have only had one door actually closed in my face – not bad for about 100 homes. Talking to “my folks” gives me immense hope for Washington and the Country. Don’t know what it is about people that wave the U.S. Flag on the front yard, but they always want to hear me and they VOTE!

Some of the issues I am hearing are: Cars that speed through neighborhoods, Red Light Cameras, Taxes, street and roads, and Taxes (I get it.)

Even though Chief Hahn says he has met more people for Red Light Cameras than against, I can only surmise that they don’t live in Ward 3. I have met one person that was for RLC’s, but changed her mind once I explained to her how the scam works.

I met with a group of seniors, this morning at Mc Donald’s, and there primary concern was how they were going to keep up with escalating taxes and the onslaught of the new water/sewer rates. I saw genuine fear in several of their eyes that only reinforced my feeling that we most take care of those on fixed incomes and new families. Many were considering leaving Washington and moving to a community that was cheaper. This is a major problem and I will dedicate much of my effort trying to resolve the issue.

Today I spoke with about 30 residents in my Ward. I did not speak with a single family that was for Red Light Cameras, and some used some rather colorful language to describe them. I made it clear that if someone could convince me they saved lives, then I would be for them. Until then, I am not.

I spoke with 4 firemen and once again pledged my full support to the volunteer firemen, city employees, and police department.

Without exception, all residents were very skeptical of the 225% increase in city total revenue, over the last 5 years. Streets were a big concern and thought the basics should be taken care of first. Several people brought up $36K light poles, and I assured them that my voice would be heard loud and clear opposing such wasteful expenditures of tax dollars.

One gentlemen pointed out there was no posted speed limit on Marquart Drive and wants to see the limit set at 20 mph because of the large number of children in the neighborhood. To date, the city has refused to comply with his request for a safe speed in Autumn Leaf Estates.

Published in: on March 1, 2008 at 5:01 pm  Leave a Comment