Tri-Valley mayors team up to bring back federal money

City leaders attending U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting

Four Tri-Valley mayors are joining forces to gain federal funding for local projects during the U.S. Conference of Mayors that ends today in Washington, D.C.

At the annual meeting, which started Wednesday, are Pleasanton Mayor Jennifer Hosterman, Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti, Livermore Mayor John Marchand and Danville Mayor Candace Andersen. San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson stayed behind.

The mayors are seeking federal funds for local transportation and technology projects.

Andersen said the Tri-Valley's top priorities are securing funds to repair and improve the I-580/I-680 interchange, add more funds for the newly-established iGATE business hub in Livermore and to complete the regional communication system that will provide better and instant emergency services communications between Alameda and Contra Costa counties and the cities in both of those countries.

Andersen said the mayors will visit different representatives and agencies to plead their case, adding that there are no longer earmarked funds for these projects,

"When (representatives) see this level of regional cooperation, they are more inclined to help us," Andersen said, noting that the mayors will visit with the departments of transportation, energy and justice.

Although the mayors collectively decided to forgo requesting funds for I-680 improvements, funding for the interchange and I-580 repairs are crucial. Last year, Mayor Sbranti called the 580 corridor one of the most congested in the region and said investment would improve air quality as well as the local economy.

Funding for iGATE (innovation for Green Advanced Transportation Excellence) will also encourage economic development along the I-580 corridor. The state-of-the-art technology center combines the resources of the Livermore and Sandia National laboratories with regional business parks, high growth businesses and universities to build a collaborative environment that can create green technologies and jobs.

"This technology is very beneficial to the region in creating new jobs and green jobs," Andersen said.

Although San Ramon's former mayor Abram Wilson always joined the other mayors on their annual Washington trip, the city's new mayor, Bill Clarkson, chose to stay home, attending instead a three-day training conference for new mayors and city officials.

"I do not lack for any continence in Candace Andersen's ability to carry this (Washington advocacy effort) out," Clarkson said. "I hope (the mayors are) successful, hope that they're able to get some good feedback, some buy-ins for that incubator in that Livermore area."

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Like this comment
Posted by Another junket?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2012 at 10:04 am

You know, it is disappointing that local leaders have embraced the entitlement/welfare mentality so that they feel the need to go off to 'plead' for Federal money, usually by flying to Washington DC in some sort of group junket.

When there is urban decay in large cities in the U.S. and extreme poverty in rural America (where factories have shut down and departed for overseas locations), these are the areas far more deserving of Federal aid.

Perhaps it's time we elected local leaders that meet with their own constituents, rather than spend their time hobnobbing with the Washington bureaucrats.

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