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Speed limit discussion requires clarification

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By The Staff

Your article ‘Council sets new limit on Lou” has prompted my response and needs clarity in regard to the content of my letter and the circumstances surrounding my speeding ticket.

As the Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Eminence I have a responsibility to ensure, to the best of my ability, the safety of the residents.

On July 22, at approximately 8 p.m., I received a call, at my home — a vehicle pulling a trailer was being driven through the yard around two of the apartment buildings.  These buildings house families with children who use this yard to play.  My concern was the safety of persons around the building and the intent of the person driving the vehicle, not the 15 mile per hour speed limit.  On this date I was detained in my quest to evaluate the situation and cited for speeding by Officer Rodney Hawkins.  I am a law abiding citizen, have a responsibility for the safety of 85 families and feel I should have been given the opportunity to explain the extenuating circumstance, however,  I understand the officer was also just doing his job.

After having conversation and receiving numerous complaints from employees, delivery personnel, repairmen, residents, utility workers and law enforcement officials regarding the enforcement of the 15 mph speed limit, I felt compelled to speak on behalf of folks I encounter on a daily basis and the 85 families I serve.

On Aug. 3, I wrote a letter to Mayor Jim Petitt expressing my concerns about the 15 mile per hour speed limit on Lou Avenue.  I purposely omitted the fact that I had received a speeding ticket.  I did not wish to appear that I was disgruntled and venting anger by complaining.  The speeding ticket was a personal issue and was settled in court when I appeared before Judge Diana Wheeler on Aug. 10. 

The content of my letter was clear as employees of the Housing Authority we do not feel we are above the law; however, there are times, for the safety of residents, when a quick response is necessary.   The employees cannot risk being stopped, ticketed, or detained each time such emergency occurs. 

Enforcement of the 15 mile per hour speed limit was creating havoc, presenting a hardship on the day to day operations of the Authority and using valuable time of the Eminence Police Department to enforce the law. 

I also addressed that the 15 mile per hour speed limit was hard to maintain. Lou Avenue was the only access for people living on Circle Dr., HUD ST., and Canon Court, there was no other residential area in town that had set a 15 mile per hour speed limit and parents should assume responsibility to keep children away from or out of the street or stop complaining.

Had the article disclosed the entire content of my letter the public would have known that the Eminence Council, after only one month, acted on facts and with integrity before making a decision to change the speed limit.  Thanks council for saying yes!

Glenda Luc