This letter appears in the Los Gatos Weekly-Times online.
Council candidate should check facts about Measure B
I know it must be difficult to be a relatively newcomer to town and a first-time council candidate, but I encourage [Larry] Maggio to dig into the facts before drawing inaccurate conclusions.
In last week’s Los Gatos Weekly-Times, Mr. Maggio says he’s concerned about our traffic relief, transit alternatives and road repair initiative—Measure B—because “the majority of the money goes to BART and Caltrain.” Wrong.
Please do the math. As great as the extension of BART to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara University will be, and as important as the capacity and safety improvements on Caltrain will be, they do not constitute “the majority of the money.”
Let’s discuss what is actually in Measure B, of direct value for those of us who live here in Los Gatos and Monte Sereno:
- $30 million in street maintenance and pothole repair funds;
- a Park-and-Ride lot for shuttles to keep cars off our neighborhood streets;
- advanced signal timing on our local streets and roads throughout town;
- community bus service for downtown and to our schools;
- bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements, especially near our schools;
- traffic and safety improvements at the Highway 17/Highway 9 Interchange;
- $350 million for transit improvements in the empty center median of the Highway 85 corridor; and
- Lifeline and core transit service for senior citizens, the disabled and students.
In fact, the town of Los Gatos and city of Monte Sereno public works staffs worked on Measure B for the past three years. The town received every item it requested to help ease traffic, provide transit options and improve the crumbling conditions of our local streets and roads. It’s also why town council members Marcia Jensen, Marico Sayoc and Rob Rennie have all endorsed Measure B, and why Monte Sereno Mayor Lon Allan, Vice Mayor Marshall Anstandig and council members Burton Craig and Evert Wolsheimer have all endorsed Measure B.
Mr. Maggio goes on to say he prefers a “general purpose tax.” I hope town residents know that a “general purpose tax” legally cannot be used for any specific purpose, and the use of funds can be changed at any time by a 3-2 vote of the council. There is no accountability or transparency in what Mr. Maggio prefers. The reason we insisted on a “specific tax,” which requires the much more difficult vote threshold of 66.67, is that in California a two-thirds vote is the only way we can lock in the funds for the specific improvements called for in the measure. Measure B has the traffic improvements we need, coupled with the accountability we deserve.
To learn the facts for yourself, please visit YesMeasureB.com.
Carl Guardino, Monte Sereno