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No on RR - No cash for BART

Original post made by Registered Joe, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Oct 13, 2016

I'm voting No on Measure RR, which would provide $3.5 billion for BART. It's a tax, estimated to last 48 years. It needs a 2/3 majority to pass.

(1) It's supposed to be only for infrastructure (track, stations, bridges, etc.) but there is a provision that allows BART management to use this money for salaries and administration. Read the full text of the measure here: Web Link

(2) BART already has the highest per-mile cost of any transit system in America.

(3) BART pays its employees a nation-leading average of $131,641 per year. This is in addition to pensions and liberal work rules that allow train engineers and station agents to work as little as 65% of a 40-hour week and still be paid for all 40. (BART stats courtesy of the KQED voter guide).

(4) This is a 48-year tax, at minimum. It may go longer depending on the economy.

(5) The "Yes on RR" campaign contributors can be found here: Web Link
on the Alameda County website. If you scan the donor list, you'll see that the contributions of $75,000 or more are from unions and construction firms like Bechtel.

If this was truly for infrastructure, I'd vote for it. I challenge the BART board to come up with a measure that includes protections so that my tax dollars, and those of my kids, don't go to people that are already overpaid and underworked. BART won't collapse anytime soon; the Board can rework the proposal and get it on the next election's ballot.

Comments (12)

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 13, 2016 at 8:28 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

The Bart Board is counting on Bart users to vote on and approve this bond.
70% of Bart users are not property tax payers, do not own property.

Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 13, 2016 at 8:53 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Easy no for me. Barts cost structure is so stupid

Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 14, 2016 at 8:34 pm

It's a no for me also, BART is the worst transit system I have ever ridden on in this country and in Europe! Overpaid employees, filthy trains and stations, unreliable service and overcrowded trains and parking lots-- promises were never kept from day one when they first dangled the carrot in front of us taxpayers and promised us a world class transit system!!! VOTING NO.

Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 15, 2016 at 9:26 am

I and most of the seniors I know around town are voting no on all tax increases or bonds. Just going down the list and voting no on all of them. The impact is so unknown and unfair. Voting no on Gavin Nuisance bills also.

Posted by BART Worker
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2016 at 2:59 pm

I will also vote no because Bart Management is incapable of managing the retrofit of the BART system. I have witnessed for years how BART management wastes money by over-paying its managers who do little more than hold useless meetings every day of the week. And then there was the study that BART used to destroy its Lake Merit Head Quarters so that Bart Management could justify moving into the Kaiser Building. The study to destroy the BARTs management building at 8th Ave ave Madison was a complete and total fraud perpetrated by BART management. BART management does not fulfill their legal obligation to use public funds wisely because BART management is granted the same benefit package as the BART union workers. Plain and simple BART management in bed with the Unions and only pretends to deny the Unions anything. BART management is incapable of using the resources the tax-payer provides now; thus, approving the measure RR would be throwing good money after bad. If BART does want the measure to pass in the future; then, BART should force retires all of its management team and bring a new team in. VOTE NO on Measure RR!

Posted by BART Worker II
a resident of another community
on Oct 26, 2016 at 10:19 am

Another solid NO on RR.

Despite being a BART worker there are far too many seeming issues of waste, fraud and abuse to support any minor capital endowment to BART, let alone 3.5 billion taxpayers dollars.

Look at the recent 1.5 million tax dollar expense arbitration for the BART Police ticket writers (CSOs) fire-watch issue. BART paid out roughly $30,000 PER EACH worker in that classification recently. This is only part of the cost as well.

The crux is BART hired people to do part of the CSOs job, a job they were already on site and could have done at little or no extra cost.

Instead BART hired an outside firm (that they now have to pay cancellation penalties to) to do the job (waiting to see a fire - and then telling a station agent...) and now have paid not only for double work, but 1.5 million in taxpayers funds (the checks were cut to the CSOs a little while back this summer) in penalty.

Almost sounds to me like a side door bonus scheme for the CSOs and the contractor.

The result - no accountability from or to any decision maker.

This is yet one of many issues. I estimate BART is wasting over 1 million a month in items like this - if you amortize that potential waste over 40 years you get something on the order of 25% or more (dependent on interest rate used) of the requested funds under RR.

Simply put - NO way.

A better solution would be to have BART taken into receivership / custodial management by private management and Grand Juries convened to investigate and prosecute management and where required if collusion is found, union leadership.

The tempo should be accountability. Termination and public pension revocation for misdeeds. Instead the public just yes yes yes yes and keeps feeding the dragon.

By the way - a lot of the rank and file at BART union employees work very hard and fully earn their wages, however many do not. That does not mean we support waste fraud or abuse and the resultant waste of public funds.

Help us help you. Get transparency. Get investigations. Get real. Good luck and kind regards.

Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 26, 2016 at 10:38 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

No for me too. The poor suckers in Livermore were promised BART service 44 years ago. Now it is no longer even on the planning list. Meanwhile BART has expanded in every other direction. If their word is worth nothing we should pay them appropriately.

Posted by res1
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Oct 26, 2016 at 11:18 am

res1 is a registered user.

No fricken way I will vote for the BART bond. Not just voting NO but voting HELL NO.

BART needs to be fixed organizationally first. The unions control it now and until that goes away, I cannot support giving them any more money. The union workers make much more salary and benefits that the value of their work and the unions even managed to bargain in that management cannot be trained on the workers jobs (so management cannot take over during a strike).

Not sure why we even have drivers on the trains. We now have driverless cars (or near having it) that can drive without tracks and have to deal with conflict. BART should invest in technology that eliminates the drivers. Computer can handle all of that and in the situation where there is an issue that requires a human, that can be controlled from the control center. I would rather eliminate the driver and replace with an officer to keep the trains safe.

Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 26, 2016 at 11:35 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

Yes! With the money saved by not paying train operators they should be able to open and clean restrooms. Come to think about it, that's a good transition job for train operators. Get used to the real world.

Posted by MsVic
a resident of Mission Park
on Oct 26, 2016 at 8:31 pm

MsVic is a registered user.

A solid no vote here too.

Posted by Anti-public union
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2016 at 6:42 pm

Our beautiful Bay Area, possibly most beautiful in the world, at least it could be, if it were not for this thorn called BART. We are in desperate need of, and entitled to a world-class BART SYSTEM. But Brown's damn 'union' system he started 30 years ago, set us up for failure.. (like now our Ca Universities going broke from union retirements). Brown lied about temp? Prop 30, like BART has repeatedly stolen every $ along the way
to feed the 'fat' employee system, so we never get 'better' anything. Not
employees, BART, colleges, bridges, nothing, just keep feeding the monster.
I SO wish I could vote for this BART, we're entitled to and need, but since they don't do their part, we just can no longer keep feeding the beast. NO!

Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 29, 2016 at 9:20 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Was an easy no vote for many of the reasons stated above.
No reason to throw good money after bad. Once they fix the organization, then I'll support it because it is needed.

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