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March 2016
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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

WTS Monterey Bay: Helping Ourselves - To a Better Transportation Network

05:30 PM - 07:30 PM Central Standard Time



WTS Monterey Bay Area Presents: Exciting panel discussion about local funding in the Monterey Bay area

WTS Monterey Bay Transportation Happy Hour

Helping Ourselves - To a Better Transportation Network

 

When: Tuesday, March 29, 2015, 5:30-7:30

Where: Corralitos Brewing Co. 2536 Freedom Blvd, Watsonville, CA 95076

 

Join us for an interactive panel discussion on the proposed local sales tax measures! The WTS Monterey Bay Programs Committee is presenting a panel on the sales tax measures with all three Monterey Bay counties – Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito – plus Santa Clara!  All four counties are working toward placing a ballot measure for local transportation investment plans on the ballot in 2016. Come to get the scoop on investment plans, building a coalition, the process of placing sales tax measures on the ballot, and challenges of reaching the 2/3 bar. These combined measures, if successful, could generate almost $8 billion over 30 years for transportation projects in the region.

 

Moderator:

 Eileen Goodwin, President, Apex Strategies

Ms. Goodwin has thirty years of leadership experience in building consensus. As Executive Director of the Santa Clara County Traffic Authority, Ms. Goodwin successfully delivered the $1.2 billion Measure A Highway Improvement Program. Since then, Ms. Goodwin has been Principal of Apex Strategies, counseling and assisting public agencies in favorably positioning their projects and programs with the community and the media. Ms. Goodwin is recognized statewide and nationally as an expert and innovator in the field of community participation, strategic planning and sales tax programs.

 

Panelists:

Mary Gilbert, Executive Director, Council of San Benito County Governments

Ms. Gilbert has over 15 years of experience in Transportation Planning for the Council of San Benito County Governments (San Benito COG). She has supported the COG’s many transportation planning and funding activities, including as project manager for the Highway 25 Bypass and Highway 25 safety projects. She was appointed COG Executive Director in September 2015, after a year serving as Interim Executive Director. Mary has a bachelor’s in Global Economic Relations from the University of the Pacific.

 

San Benito County successfully passed a sales tax measure for transportation, Measure A, in 1988, with over 80% of the vote. In 2015, COG began efforts to plan for a tax measure for the June 2016 primary. The plan calls for a ½-cent sales tax over 30 years, expected to generate $240 million. The plan includes a widening project along Highway 25, serving commuters traveling to work in the Silicon Valley, local streets and road maintenance, and other transportation infrastructure projects.

 

George Dondero, Executive Director, Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission

Mr. Dondero has helmed the Santa Cruz RTC since 2006, working on such projects as the Highway 1 merge lanes at the “fishhook”, auxiliary lanes between Soquel and Morrissey, and the acquisition of the 32-mile long Santa Cruz branch rail line. He has master’s degrees in Urban and Regional Planning and in Transportation Engineering from UC Berkeley. He led the effort to build sustainability principles and metrics into the County’s 2014 Regional Transportation Plan, which provides the foundation for a ballot measure.

 

Santa Cruz RTC pursued a local transportation sales tax measure in 2004 and are looking at the presidential election in 2016 with a new approach. Their plan calls for a half cent sales tax for 30 years, raising $450 million. Recent polling shows strong support for a measure. The plan includes neighborhood projects, highway corridors, mobility access, coastal rail trail, and the rail corridor.

 

Debbie Hale, Executive Director, Transportation Agency for Monterey County

Ms. Hale has been with TAMC since 2001, and was appointed to lead the agency in 2006. Under her stewardship, TAMC oversaw transportation safety and improvement projects that dramatically changed Monterey County with safer travel corridors, thereby helping to save lives and improve commerce and the quality of life. Ms. Hale has a master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Princeton University and a bachelor’s in Political Economy from the University of California at Berkeley.

 

TAMC’s last attempt to pass a sales tax was in November 2008; while it received support from 63% of Monterey County voters, it did not meet the 2/3 vote required. TAMC is now planning for a 2016 transportation sales tax measure. A 3/8-cent transportation sales tax measure would bring in over $600 million over 30 years. The plan calls for 50% of the funds to go to local road repairs and 50% to regional safety and mobility projects such as key highway and transit projects.

 

John Ristow, Director of Planning and Program Development, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

Mr. Ristow is responsible for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Congestion Management Agency responsibilities, which include both long-range and project planning, project design development, environmental review, programming of federal, state and local grant funds and express lane operations. Mr. Ristow graduated from the University of Colorado with a bachelor’s in Geology and a master’s in Urban and Regional Planning. 

 

VTA is looking to put a ½-cent sales tax on the November 2016 ballot that would generate $6.5 billion over 30 years. The multimodal program includes BART, Caltrain/ commuter rail, highways and expressways, transit, local roads and bike projects.

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