Failure to Represent
Having each decision be at the mercy of popular vote is mob rule, which can often be oppressive if you are in the dissenting minority. However, it is generally accepted that legislation by decree, even if the decree of publicly-elected representatives, is nothing short of tyranny. The trick to defining good and properly limited government is finding the balance between the two.
That balance appears to be a bit off kilter in Missouri, where seventy-three percent of voters in St. Charles County have voted to ban red-light cameras... and several cities governments in that county are suing to keep them. The cities claim there is no state Constitutional authority for the the county to regulate their use of these devices. The county, however, is stating that the voters who approved the ban of the cameras are residents of those cities as well as the county and that the municipal governments are defying the very people they are supposed to be representing.
There are arguments as to whether the cameras actually improve safety or are merely revenue generators for the cities. In Denver, CO, a 2010 examination showed that red light infractions - and by extension many accidents - were reduced by 60% simply by extending the time yellow lights were displayed. The camera program was expanded anyway and, in 2012, an examination of records indicated that 60% of camera-issued tickets were for coming to a stop at a red light - but having tires that rolled onto the white "stop bar" at the intersection, a violation deliberately ignored by other neighboring municipalities. Now, not only is Denver again looking to expand the program, but its city council is looking into whether their "home rule" status will allow them to ignore a potential camera ban being contemplated by the state legislature.
Regardless of whether this is a municipal cash cow or an attempt to improve public safety, the fact is the majority of that public does not want cameras in their communities and their elected city officials are saying, "Too bad." We can look to Colorado again for another parallel. In 2013, gun laws were passed by state legislators against the overwhelming protest of voters. This legislative arrogance led to the state's first-ever recall of two sitting state senators and the resignation of a third, facing the threat of her own recall.
Flagrantly disregarding the will of the people you are supposed to be representing comes with consequences.