A proposal to renew or replace Measure D – a sales tax that funds most of the county’s transportation projects – in November’s election has UCSB students concerned that the end result could be a cut to alternative transportation funding.
Measure D does not expire until 2010, but at a meeting today, members of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments will discuss whether to place the initiative on the ballot for renewal later this year or to replace it with two separate initiatives. Measure A would use the existing half-cent sales tax to fund road maintenance, while Measure B would enact a quarter-cent sales tax increase to fund public and alternative transportation. Measures A and B must pass for B to be valid. The final vote on the issue will be held at the SBCAG meeting on April 20. Members could also choose to postpone the renewal process until a later election, or combine Measures A and B into one initiative.
Isla Vista Transportation Alternative for Livable Communities held a press conference at the MultiCultural Center lounge yesterday afternoon to voice its opposition to two separate initiatives on the ballot.
Associated Students External Vice President of Local Affairs and IV TALC member Kelly Burns said she is afraid placing Measure A and Measure B on the ballot as separate proposals could hurt Measure B’s chances of passing. She said she thinks Measures A and B should be combined into one initiative.
Kelsi Boyle, head organizer of IV TALC, said she is afraid people who already own cars might not care about providing alternatives to automobiles, and would not vote for Measure B.
“[We] want to see a balanced measure that everyone is happy with and not just [those people] who own cars,” Boyle said.
Third District Supervisor Brooks Firestone said he is worried that public opposition to the two initiatives could hurt their chances of passing. If SBCAG cannot agree on how to word Measures A and B, they might just renew Measure D.
“What we’ve been doing all along is not so bad,” Firestone said. “It’s not perfect, but why not just renew?”