People living in Stanislaus County have begun receiving publicly funded fliers on Measure L, a transportation tax appearing on the Nov. 8 ballot that needs two-thirds’ voter approval to pass.
Supporters, meanwhile, are making the rounds, pitching expected benefits – better roads, new highways and less traffic – to clubs and organizations.
On Wednesday, transportation leaders assured that outreach will continue by unanimously agreeing to pay a consultant an extra $200,000, on top of $150,000 already spent to get the word out.
If approved in November, the half-percent hike in sales tax would raise about $38 million a year for 25 years, or nearly a billion dollars in all. Thousands of projects promised by supporters can be viewed on The Modesto Bee’s comprehensive interactive map, which does not take a position, or individually at a Measure L website.
Public presentations typically feature a short video clip saying the average driver pays $139 per year in gas taxes – assuming he or she travels 12,000 miles at 25 miles per gallon – but less than 7 cents of that stays here for local needs; the rest goes to projects elsewhere in California. Supporters say all proceeds of a locally approved transportation tax would stay here and could not be raided by higher government.
The new flier contains lots more data, such as $480 million to be raised for neighborhood street repair, $96 million for intersection upgrades and bridge replacements, and $48 million for bicycle and pedestrian projects.
The flier and video, by law, are supposed to be educational without swaying people to vote one way or another.
Whether you agree or disagree, you need to be educated.
Vito Chiesa, Stanislaus county supervisor
Vito Chiesa, a county supervisor and chairman of the Stanislaus Council of Governments, spent an hour discussing Measure L on the radio before Wednesday’s StanCOG meeting, and was headed out after the meeting to make another community presentation.
“We keep trying to send people back to the website to learn. Whether you agree or disagree, you need to be educated,” he said.
Scott Calkins, speaking during a public comment period, said, “Certain people in the community resent the fact that what’s being passed off as education really is advocacy.” An ardent opponent of plans for a Highway 132 bypass west of downtown Modesto, near his home, Calkins – who ran unsuccessfully for county supervisor in 2014 – said the tax would “transform land use” throughout the county.
Former Modesto Councilman Bruce Frohman also opposes Measure L, saying it would be fairer if government charged more tax on gas or vehicles.
“Whenever that much money is involved, corruption is sure to pop up,” he said in an email to The Bee.
In supporters’ corner are most elected officials throughout the county and its nine cities. They include county Supervisor Jim DeMartini – a noted conservative and local Republican Party leader who will host a Measure L fundraising event Thursday. For details, call 209-765-5851 or email former Modesto Councilwoman Janice Keating – also a staunch conservative – at email@example.com. Proceeds will go to a private effort headed mostly by local businesses called Citizens for Better Roads & Safer Streets – Yes on Measure L.
$38 million Yearly proceeds, if Measure L passes in November
Similar drives fell short in 2006 and 2008, the last by a sliver. This time, a larger percentage of money would be spent on local roads as opposed to new highways.
If Measure L passes, sales tax would go up 5 cents for something priced at $10, 50 cents for a $100 item, and so on.
StanCOG’s policy board on Wednesday also learned that putting Measure L before voters could cost up to $230,000. But they won’t have to pay an estimated $250,000 – as they once thought – on environmental studies, because documents approved in 2014 for StanCOG’s regional transportation plan will cover Measure L, StanCOG Executive Director Rosa Park said.
Public money spent on Measure L comes from the county and its nine cities.
* Note all such measures are coming down from a Council Of Governors…Remember Be Aware and Alert
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Stanislaus County Farm Bureau
Stanislaus Taxpayers Association
Modesto Firefighters Association
Turlock Firefighters Association
Modesto Police Officers Association
California Alliance for Jobs
Stanislaus Business Alliance
IBEW, Local 684
Modesto Chamber of Commerce
Stanislaus Building Trades Council
Stanislaus Democratic Party
Stanislaus Republican Party
Latino Political Action Committee of Stanislaus County
Salida Chamber of Commerce
Ceres Chamber of Commerce
Ceres Firefighters Association
Central Labor Council
Doctors Medical Center
American Medical Response
Lodi Association of Realtors
Central Valley Association of Realtors
Congressman Jeff Denham
California State Legislature
Senator Anthony Cannella
Assemblymember Adam Gray
Assemblymember Kristin Olsen
Supervisor Bill O’Brien, District 1
Supervisor Vito Chiesa, District 2
Supervisor Terry Withrow, District 3
Supervisor Dick Monteith, District 4
Supervisor Jim DeMartini, District 5
Sheriff Adam Christianson
Superintendent of SCOE Tom Changnon
City of Ceres
Mayor Chris Vierra
Vice Mayor Mike Kline
Councilmember Bret Durossette
Councilmember Ken Lane
Councilmember Linda Ryno
City of Hughson
Mayor Matt Beekman
Mayor Pro Tem Jeramy Young
Councilmember George Carr
Councilmember Jill Silva
Councilmember Harold Hill
City of Waterford
Mayor Michel Van Winkle
Vice Mayor Jose Aldaco
Councilmemer John Gothan
Councilmember Ken Krause
Councilmember Joshua Whitfield
City of Turlock
Mayor Gary Soiseth
Councilmember Bill Dehart
Councilmember Mathew Jacob
Councilmember Steven Nacimiento
City of Newman
Mayor Robert Martina
Treasurer Mary Moore
Councilmember Nicholas Candea
Councilmember Murray Day
Councilmember Casey Graham
City of Oakdale
Mayor Pat Paul
Mayor Pro Tem Tom Dunlop
Councilmember Cheerily Bairos
Councilmember J. R. McCarty
Councilmember Richard Murdoch
City of Patterson
Mayor Luis L. Molina
Mayor Pro Tem Deborah Novelli
Councilmember Dominic Farinha
Councilmember Peter La Torre Jr.
Councilmember Dennis McCord
City of Riverbank
Mayor Richard O’Brien
Vice Mayor Darlene Barber-Martinez
Councilmember Cal Campbell
Councilmember Leanne Jones Cruz
Councilmember Jeanine Tucker
City of Modesto
Mayor Ted Brandvold
Councilmember Kristi Ah You
Councilmember Mani Grewal
Councilmember Jenny Kenoyer
Councilmember Tony Madrigal
Councilmember Douglas Ridenour
Councilmember Bill Zoslocki
The state of Alabama passed an anti-Agenda 21 law. And the Republican National Committee added an anti-Agenda 21 plank to its platform.
- Participation in Regional Government including ABAG (Association of Bay Area Governments). ABAG is part of a federally inspired national formulation designed to remake local government operations and structures. ABAG is comprised of non-elected and unaccountable individuals who follow directives from Federal and State grant incentives. Its purpose is to impose a national/international system of local governance (see The Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide). An international organization called ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) authored The Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide. ICLEI is an NGO accredited by the United Nations for the purpose of implementing Agenda 21. ICLEI is in contract with each city in Alameda for advancing Agenda 21, including their coordination and direction of the ABAG/ICLEI One Bay Area plan.
- Acceptance of ABAG’s One Bay Area Plan. ABAG has imposed a 300 billion dollar plan called One Bay Area (OBA). This plan is comprehensive and is designed to change how and where residents live and travel. Limited citizen awareness exists among the public due to the Bay Area News Group and its failure to report this massive re-engineering of the local political and living situation. The party needs to awaken the cities to reject OBA and withdraw from ABAG.
- Implementation of County ordinance, Measure D, was barely passed by voters in 2000. This measure took land outside city limits and put it off limit to nearly all uses. The effect was to require a concentration of all development including housing into dense cities, so called Smart Growth. The effect has been to advance Agenda 21 policies while destroying citizens’ rights to the use and enjoyment of private property.