DSRSD board votes to oppose Prop 53

Measure would mandate statewide vote on revenue bond projects over $2 billion

The Dublin San Ramon Services District board of has unanimously approved a resolution in opposition to Proposition 53, which would amend the California Constitution to require statewide voter approval of infrastructure projects funded with over $2 billion in revenue bonds.

Board members cited concerns over potential loss of local control and obstruction of infrastructure projects among their reasons for opposing Prop 53 when they discussed the matter at their regular meeting Tuesday night.

"It doesn't make sense to empower voters in distant communities to reject projects outside their communities," DSRSD Board President Pat Howard said in a statement.

He continued, "And it's simply bad government that Proposition 53 contains no exemptions for emergencies. In a major disaster such as an earthquake or flood, local governments could have to wait as long as two years to get statewide voter approval to repair bridges, water recycling plants, and other critical projects. That's not how we run our district and I would hope it's not how we run our state."

One of 17 statewide measures in the Nov. 8 General Election, proponents of Prop 53 say it would not impact local projects and that it would increase transparency and "stop blank checks." Opponents, meanwhile argue that it would erode local control and jeopardize water supply, bridge safety and repairs.

State and local fiscal effects from the possible passage of Prop 53 are unknown and would depend on which projects are affected by the measure, according to the voter information guide.

DSRSD staff prepared the resolution in opposition to Prop 53 and recommended that the board approve it.

In doing so, directors said that the measure "could impede Dublin San Ramon Services District's ability to participate in the building of vital regional projects to enhance local supplies such as additional storage, desalination plants, storm water capture, recycling facilities and other projects."

In a press release about its opposition to Prop 53, DSRSD urged voters to read the pros and cons of all ballot measures. That information can be found in the official voter information guide sent to registered voters this month and published online.

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1 person likes this
Posted by Registered Joe
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2016 at 6:06 pm

If we could trust the Sacramento legislature, we wouldn't need Prop 53 to force public discussion of these bond issues, nor would we need Prop 54 which requires the legislature to publish bills which the legislature plans to vote on at least 72 hours in advance.

Imagine this: Without 53 and 54, the aforementioned legislature has the ability to hide projects with large bond requirements from public view, and pass them without discourse.

A bond issue is essentially a tax, because it has to be repaid with interest, using tax dollars, over 20 years or more. With interest, $1 in bonds requires a net payment of at least $2.50 over time. So a "small" bond issue of $2 billion represents at least $5 billion that our kids will have to pay.

Of course, the legislature can circumvent 53 by dividing a larger bond issue into multiple pieces. As long as each piece is less than $2 billion, they don't require voter approval.

If you think the legislature can't do these things, consider this. Voters passed Prop 59 in 2004, which requires the legislature to follow open meetings provisions to enable "the public's right to know." The legislature for the most part ignores this, even though it's part of the California constitution. California, even with Prop 59 in place, ranks 45th out of 50 states regarding public scrutiny.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Birdland

on Dec 26, 2016 at 1:53 am

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Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Castlewood

on Dec 26, 2016 at 1:55 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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