In addition the plan ensures continued transportation funding that improves mobility and access to transit. Specifically it will increase funding to Pleasanton for maintenance and upgrades to local streets, specialized programs for seniors and people with disabilities, and bike and pedestrian trails that improve safety. It provides funds for existing programs such as LAVTA Wheels, ACE train and BART.
This vote will continue the funding from this measure in perpetuity, a troublesome concept in the abstract. In reality we will always need funds to improve transportation. The question is one of accountability. ACTC is a Joint Powers Authority that plans, funds and delivers transportation programs. Each stakeholder in the county has a representative on the commission. ACTC is committed to accountability and transparency. There are annual audits and the Independent Watchdog Committee, (IWC). There are strict project deadlines and performance and accountability measures included in every contract with fund recipients. Importantly, there is geographic equity. The sales tax revenues will benefit every city and transit operators in the county. Finally, the voters will have a check on this funding. Every 20 years the Transportation Expenditure Plan will go through extensive planning and review through the public process culminating in a plan approved by voters at the polls. This Transportation Expenditure Plan will be on this November ballot. If approved this funding measure will extend and augment the existing half-cent sales tax to one cent. It is critical that we support this effort.
ACTC's track record is impressive. Voters approved the first Measure B in 1986 and extended it in November of 2000. All of the major projects approved by the voters in that measure are either underway or complete, 10 years ahead of schedule.
In a time when we can't count on state or federal dollars, we depend on these funds for local and regional traffic improvements, many of which extend beyond city boundaries and are essential to Pleasanton. It is imperative that Pleasanton supports the Transportation Expenditure Plan in November to make our transportation plans a reality.
Cheryl Cook-Kallio is currently in her second term as a Pleasanton City Councilmember. She teaches government and economics and also coaches the We the People Competition Civics team at Irvington High School. She was co-chair of the Hacienda TOD and Housing Element Task Forces, and serves as an alternate on the Alameda County Transportation Commission. Cheryl Cook-Kallio is a candidate for Mayor in the upcoming municipal election on Nov. 6.