Thursday, July 20, 2006
Measure A is dead. But transportation officials may soon resurrect it. The Transportation Agency for Monterey County has confirmed that it is seriously considering putting another half-cent sales tax on the 2008 ballot.
The talks to revive Measure A come one month after 57 percent of voters approved of the tax—short of the 67 percent it needed to pass.
While a new version of Measure A will likely be unveiled for 2008, Debbie Hale, TAMC executive director, says the public shouldn’t expect too many changes from the proposed tax voters shot down on June 6, which would have primarily funded road repairs and freeway expansions.
“I think the core focus is still going to be on safety and road maintenance and on relieving existing traffic congestion,” Hale says. “But I think the [TAMC] board wants to hear from the public if there’s anything we left out of the plan.”
Hale says that TAMC officials are awaiting more detailed results from the June election that will be released in August. Those results will show what percentage of voters in each of the five county supervisorial districts voted for or against the tax measure.
Then in September, TAMC officials are planning to unveil a public outreach plan about a new Measure A.
“We want to make sure that what we’re working on is what people want us to be working on,” Hale says.
Although the transportation tax failed at the ballot box, Hale says she hears residents around the county ask the agency to address a myriad of infrastructure concerns.
“It’s interesting to me,” Hale says, “that everyone still thinks there’s plenty of work to be done, from potholes to safety problems on Highway 101 to congestion or Highway 156.”