County Transportation Commission calls off Measure B1 recount | December 14, 2012 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

News - December 14, 2012

County Transportation Commission calls off Measure B1 recount

Despite receiving 66.53% of the vote, fails by 0.14%

by Jeb Bing

The Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) informed the Alameda County Registrar of Voters last week that it accepts the certified election outcome that shows the Measure B1 sales tax proposal failed to gain the two-thirds majority vote to pass.

The proposed measure would have brought almost $8 billion in transportation investments into the county. But with the final vote count now certified, the measure received 66.53% of the vote, 0.14% below the required threshold to pass of 66.6%.

Due to the high voter support for Measure B1 and the fact that it almost reached the two-thirds requirement to pass, the ACTC launched a recount.

ACTC executive director Arthur Dao said the recount began last Tuesday but by the close of business that day, the Registrar's office only tallied an additional seven Yes votes for Measure B1 after recounting 28,000 votes. Based on this outcome, Dao said it became clear that continuing the recount would not yield the almost 750 yes votes necessary to meet the minimum 66.67% for passage, and therefore, Alameda CTC ended the recount.

"I am confident that the decision to request a recount was the right one, as was our decision to discontinue it," Dao said. "Our commission feels that performing due diligence was our obligation with a vote this close and a transportation plan worth $8 billion dollars in local investment and thousands of jobs opportunities."

"I'm proud that Alameda CTC is known to be an excellent steward of public funds, and this prudent use of funds is no different," he added. "The recount cost less than $8,000."

"We should all be proud of our County Registrar Dave Macdonald and his staff, who are diligent, meticulous, professional and dedicated public servants," added Tess Lengyel, an Alameda CTC deputy director who oversaw the recount effort on Tuesday.

Despite the loss of Measure B1 this November, the Alameda County Transportation Commission will continue its commitment to improving transportation in Alameda County, providing the highest level of service and the best value for public funds, as it continues to plan, fund and deliver transportation systems that expand access and improve mobility in Alameda County, she said.

The ACTC plans to use the current Measure B funds until they sunset in 2022, continuing to implement important projects and programs throughout the county.

ACTC representatives said the agency has already leveraged $756 million of current Measure B funds into $3.8 billion in capital improvements in Alameda County, including rail extensions (BART to Warm Springs), highway improvements for the I-80 Integrated Corridor Mobility project, I-680 express lanes, new HOV lanes on I-880 and I-580, local streets and roads enhancements and other projects.

Dao said these investments have pumped $495 million back into local businesses in Alameda County in the past decade alone, creating nearly 5,100 jobs per year. Many of these projects are in construction now, and the benefits of these local sales tax investments will have lasting positive impacts in Alameda County for years to come, he said.

"A clear majority of Alameda County voters demonstrated their support for Measure B1, a transportation plan that supported forward-thinking solutions, economic vitality, environmental sustainability and a true multi-modal approach," said ACTC Chairman Mayor Mark Green. "These numbers show the urgent need to lower the voter approval threshold for special taxes in California."