GUEST OPINION Around Town, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on May 11, 2012 at 9:46 pm
On January 26, 2012, The Alameda County Transportation Commission approved a Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP) that responds to critical transportation needs in the 21st century. Every City Council and member of the Board of Supervisors in Alameda County supports putting this measure on the November ballot. Our City Council voted 3-2 in support, thus far the only two council members in the entire county to vote no. It was a short-sighted vote. Items it will fund in East County include I-580/I-680 interchange improvements, Bernal Bridge construction and the BART extension to Livermore. There will be improvements to major commute corridors like El Charro Road, which is essential to the development of the Pleasanton Eastside Specific Plan. Every transportation priority of this council depends on those funds, especially State Route 84 through Pigeon Pass, the extension of which will help eliminate cut-through traffic in Pleasanton.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 11, 2012, 12:00 AM
Posted by curious, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 11, 2012 at 9:46 pm
The author here misses the point. We are tired of being taxed with no accountablility. If all of these projects are so great then what's wrong with having a sunset clause every ten years and then requiring the voters to reaffirm continuing the tax. This sounds like the usual democrat/union tax and spend with no accountablilty to the voters!! Or better yet, just a cheap way to get publicity!!
Posted by local, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 12, 2012 at 8:09 am
Cheryl has never seen a tax hike she did not like. I am not sure who voted against this in our Council but am glad they did so. This tax in perpetuity is a real bad idea. Once approved, you have NO control over the projects. This is like voting an elected official for life in office. They no longer care about the public since they do not have to be elected. With this perpetuity clause, there is no more accountability on how they spend the money.
Like all the transportation taxes, they claim to solve a ton of problems. After approved, they say they need more money to actually do any of the specific projects and you will have to pay another tax if you actually want your project completed. I assume this funding will continue to fund the Wheels Express buses which are costing the taxpayers an arm and a leg because of the tremendous subsidy. Then we have the high speed rail to nowhere. That bond money will be taking away the money we need for real transportation issues.
We already have one of the highest sales taxes in the state. We need to stop voting for additional taxes and make our elected officials accountable. The money for these projects would also be here if we did not have the high increase of pension costs, all brought to us by the elected officials. The same elected officials who are asking for more money from us.. Stop supporting the tax hikes and stop supporting the elected officials, like Cheryl, who believe an extra tax is the answer to everything.
Posted by annoymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm
Wow! I think the above missed the point of the opinion piece. Pleasanton wants less traffic, they want infrastructured built but they don't want to have to pay for it? The vote was to put it on the ballot. You can individually vote no if you want.
How are our roads going to get fixed it we don't fund it? Is there anyone out there who just walks? Oh wow this tax is for pedestrian and bike trails too! I guess the roads magically fix themselves.
There is accountability. There is a citizens watch group.
You are already paying the half cent. . .we need the connectors, we need our city streets repaired. . .or we can make them all private and assess ourselves. . .that would cost less, NOT!
Posted by local, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 12, 2012 at 9:33 pm
What do you mean we don't want to pay for it? We are already paying for it but the elected officials are taking our tax money and not spending it wisely. Every dollar going to the extra pension cost is money that is taken away from education and traffic infrastructure.
An "oversight committee", appointed by the politicians is not enough accountability. As mentioned above, this will be not different that the bond oversight committee of the school district that was promised and did not materialize. If there are supplemental taxes like this, there should be a time limit on the tax. At the end of the tax, if there is more to do and they have used the funds wisely, people can vote for an extension. Let the voters decide (the ones paying the tax) if it should be extended. Don't burden all future generations with this tax.
Posted by local, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm
Besides all the salaries being paid for the alphabet soup of transportation agencies in the area, some of our elected officials, and especially the county supervisors, receive a stipend for each meeting they go to at each of these agencies, in addition to their pay. That is why we have all these agencies; there is more money for the elected officials.
We need to combine many of these transportation agencies to reduce overhead. However, do not expect that to happen when the elected officials make extra money by having more agencies.