Archive for the ‘Politics & Elections’ Category

Local news website publisher, Mike Burkholder, announces campaign for Antioch School Board

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016
Mike Burkholder

Mike Burkholder

Mike Burkholder, publisher of the local news website eastcountytoday.net, announced his candidacy Tuesday for a seat on the Antioch Unified School District Board of Trustees in the November 8th election.

He released the following statement:

I am running for Antioch Unified School Board because I am a concerned parent and taxpayer. My wife and I are excited that we will have two children in the District this year; but I recognize that the school district faces multiple challenges and needs leaders, not politicians to get it going in the right direction. Improving the community starts and ends with improving the schools.

One of my top priories is student and teacher safety. Not only should I have peace of mind while my children are at school, but the entire community should have that same peace of mind. We must find better ways to address high-risk youth while working to encourage them to go down the right path.

Equally important is improving the way the District communicates with the public. Given my background as publisher of www.eastcountytoday.net, I know public outreach is an area that will be addressed immediately and improved through improving outreach opportunities. Parents deserve to know what is going on in our schools regardless if it’s good, bad or ugly.

Finally, teachers and staff who are doing great work should be rewarded for their efforts, we must work on creative ways to improve district morale and incentivize staff to ensure we can retain and attract quality teachers.

As an East County leader, and a parent, I would like the opportunity to make a difference on the Antioch Unified School District Board and would appreciate your support.

The Antioch Unified School District includes all of Antioch and portions of both Oakley and Pittsburg.

This is Burkholder’s second run for public office, having run unsuccessfully for the Ironhouse Sanitary District Board in Oakley in 2012.

So far, he is one of seven candidates who have pulled the required filing papers to run, including incumbent Diane Gibson-Gray, appointed incumbents Fernando Navarro and Alonzo Terry, former school board member Joy Motts and two others, James Beck and Crystal Sawyer White. Only Burkholder, Gibson-Gray and Terry have filed their papers, as of Monday. Candidates have until this Friday, August 12, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. to file with the County Elections Office in Martinez. If one of the incumbents does not file, the filing period is extended five calendar days to Wednesday, August 17th.

For more information about Burkholder’s campaign visit www.facebook.com/burkforausd where his slogan is “A Voice For All” or email him at burk4ausd@gmail.com.

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Burgis endorsed by DA Peterson, Sheriff Livingston, firefighters and deputy sheriffs in campaign for Supervisor

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Today, East Bay Regional Park District Director Diane Burgis, candidate for Contra Costa County Supervisor in District Three, earned the enthusiastic endorsement of the Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs Association, Antioch Police Officers Association, Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston and District Attorney Mark Peterson, as well as the endorsement recommendation of the Executive Board of the United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230.

“We need tough, principled leadership to tackle the long-standing problem of inadequate fire protection coverage in the county,” said Vince Wells, President of the United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230. “Diane Burgis is the only candidate for District Three we can trust to get the job done. She’s not just another politician – she has the proven competence and know-how necessary to improve fire protection services for every East County resident.”

Fire and emergency resources in East County are inadequate, leading to longer response times and lower quality fire and emergency services. Multiple district firehouses have closed due to a lack of proper funding.

“Diane Burgis is uniquely qualified to tackle the challenges our county faces,” said Shawn Welch, President of the Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs Association. “Under her watch, Oakley was recognized as one of the safest cities in the state. As a city councilmember, she supported police so that they could do their jobs fighting crime. As a park director, she partnered with law enforcement to make sure every tax dollar was spent wisely.  I and my fellow deputies are proud to stand with her this November.”

The Contra Costa Deputy Sheriffs Association is dedicated to the security and well-being of Contra Costa’s citizens and the protection of its 830+ employees. The United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230 includes over 450 firefighters from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, East Contra Costa County Fire District and various city fire departments. The Antioch Police Officers Association represents 120 police officers serving in the Antioch Police Department.

“Diane Burgis asks the right questions, listens closely to her constituents and then fights on their behalf,” said David Livingston, Contra Costa County Sheriff-Coroner. “I know I can count on her. She’s not one to pick political expediency over doing the right thing. She’s mastered the issues and demonstrated true skill as a leader, building coalitions and solving problems while putting a high priority on public safety.”

Diane Burgis currently serves as an East Bay Regional Parks District director and is the executive director of the Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed. Previously, she served as an Oakley city councilmember and spent over ten years as a small business owner. She highlights four priorities for her candidacy: improving public safety, attracting economic development, ensuring fiscal accountability and preserving the delta for future generations.

“Diane will work hard to develop the resources our police, firefighters and prosecutors need to keep us safe,” said Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson. “As a small business owner, nonprofit manager and public official, she has proven that she can balance a budget and defend taxpayers. I endorse her with no reservations – our county needs a real leader on the board.”

Diane Burgis is also endorsed by County Supervisor Mary Piepho, Assemblymember Joan Buchanan and a broad coalition of elected officials and leaders from every city and community in the district.

“I am honored by this extraordinary vote of confidence from our county’s bravest public servants,” said Diane Burgis, Candidate for Contra Costa County Supervisor in District Three. “I pledge to work collaboratively with our firefighters, sheriffs and every district resident to find effective solutions as we work together to improve public safety for all.”

Voters can learn more about her and her platform at www.dianeburgis.com.

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Retired businessman, Fred Rouse announces campaign for Antioch City Council

Monday, August 8th, 2016
Fred Rouse

Fred Rouse

In an announcement posted on his campaign Facebook page on Sunday, July 31, Antioch resident and retired businessman Fred Rouse officially announced he will run for Antioch City Council in this fall’s election.

Following is his complete announcement:

I am running for the Antioch City Council because I will listen to you. I will work for your needs. I will lend my experience with large corporate budgets and programs to improve the way Antioch manages the budget. Antioch can change for the better if we have leaders that better serve the people.

Our properties are not maintained and crime rates are high. We have a homeless problem and we need jobs and new business. Antioch needs more police officers and wants smart business growth and parks. Antioch needs to give our youth afterschool programs. I want the voters to know that I hear them. I know we all believe in change for the better, reduced crime, and a cleaner community. If elected, I commit to the voters that these issues will be my top priorities. Leaders of our City have let us down. People have lost trust and feel they are not listened to and not included in decisions. We must remind our leaders that they are Public Servants. Their job is to work for the community.

I came to this city with my wife 20 years ago because it was affordable, safe, growing and somewhat near my employment. I want that back. I think you do too. The first step begins with changing the board. If we can agree to do that, we can begin the rebirth of our City and restore what we have lost. Please join me in November. I ask for your vote.

For more information visit www.facebook.com/forantioch.

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Harper announces campaign for reelection as Mayor of Antioch, claiming “effective leadership”

Friday, August 5th, 2016
Wade  Harper from his Facebook page.

Harper from his Facebook page.

By Allen Payton

In a post on his campaign’s Facebook page, Antioch Mayor Wade Harper announced his campaign for re-election, on Friday, August 5, 2016.

“Under my leadership as mayor of the city of Antioch we have become a safer and more prosperous city.  Our sound Strategic Management Plan is working to reduce crime, improve economic development and remove blight & graffiti city-wide.  That’s a promise kept.  That’s effective leadership!

As a former police lieutenant of the 2nd safest city in California and now mayor, I refused to layoff police officers.  Instead, I asked Antioch tax payers to fund more cops on the streets, you did!  We’ve had the most aggressive hiring practice, recruiting about 40 police officers since passage of Measure C.  That’s a promise kept.  That’s effective leadership!”

Harper is referring to his time working for the City of Tracy, before retiring after being elected Mayor in 2012. The City currently has a net four additional sworn police officers since the City Council placed Measure C on the ballot in August, 2013 due to officers retiring, quitting the force or being terminated.

Harper first served in public office when he was appointed to the Antioch School Board in January, 2009 to fill a vacancy created by the death of Joyce Seelinger. He was then elected to the Antioch City Council in 2010, before running for Mayor.

With Harper running for reelection, candidates for Mayor have until Friday, August 12th at 5:00 p.m. to file their required papers. The election is on Tuesday, November 8. So far he is expected to face three challengers, should those who have pulled papers complete the filing process.

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Save The Yard group announces new initiative effort for downtown Antioch event center, accuses city officials of obstruction

Friday, August 5th, 2016
An artist's rendering of a proposed event center for downtown Antioch on the lot bordered by Second, Third and E Streets.

An artist’s rendering of a proposed event center for downtown Antioch on the lot bordered by E West Second and West Third Streets.

By Allen Payton

In a press release issued Thursday, August 4, 2016, the Antioch residents who support a park and event center on the old lumber company lot in Antioch’s downtown, announced a second effort after their first initiative failed to get enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

They are “testing the adage that ‘you can’t fight city hall’” the release states and are calling the historical Antioch Lumber Company yard site “ground zero” in that fight. The 1.25 acre parcel is situated between E Street, West 2nd and West 3rd Streets, in Antioch’s downtown, also known as Rivertown. Overlooking the San Joaquin River, the vacant parcel was utilized as a lumberyard for decades. It is one of nine city-owned parcels the council is considering selling and gave direction to City Manager Steve Duran to negotiate with developer City Ventures in a closed session, in August, 2015. (See the related article, here).

Since the early 1990’s, the release continues, citizens have advanced various park-like proposals for this parcel, the most current envisioning a town square suitable for 4th of July celebrations, car shows, summer concerts in the park, farmers’ markets, Holiday De-Lites, Rivertown Jamboree, movie nights, dog shows and other community events including farm-to-fork, wine tasting, and multicultural affairs, the press release explained.

In February, 2015, Rivertown residents met with Duran, to share their vision for this parcel.

“To their shock and surprise, Duran having listened for only a short time, responded that this parcel would never be used as a park,” according to the release. “He explained that instead, it would be utilized as high density housing, notwithstanding there are already 840 residences within one-quarter mile of the Rivertown business center, that the city’s own consulting firm said the proposed residential project was infeasible, and that there is precious little space for community events.  People in attendance were stunned.”

“Since that meeting, interested citizens have attempted to meet with city officials to explore options, to no avail,” the release claims. “When these overtures fell on deaf ears and Antioch city officials began meeting with City Ventures, a developer, to discuss construction of high density housing, the ‘Save Our Yard’ movement was born.  This movement eventually spawned the Town Square Initiative which was a proposed ballot measure intended to allow the citizens of Antioch to determine how this site will be used.”

A side view design concept of the proposed townhomes on the old lumber company site in downtown.

A side view rendering of the design concept of the proposed townhomes on the old lumber company site.

Duran Responds

In an email response, Duran stated, “I don’t think I was quite so blunt; but I recollect that I tried to explain why I think the site was zoned residential under the 2003 General Plan and why no staff or consultant has ever recommended the City build an event center three blocks from an event center on the City’s best housing site.”

“Yesterday’s press release to which you refer also asserted that the City wouldn’t meet with her to discuss the proposal dated 10/28/14 for a park & event center that on the old lumber yard site,” Duran continued. “In fact, our real estate consultant and I met with Joy Motts and Wayne Harrison on Friday, February 20th to review and discuss their proposal for the vacant dirt lot that was once the site of the Antioch Lumber Company yard and warehouse.  At that meeting, we requested additional information from them, which they never provided and I subsequently offered to meet with them again.  They never responded to that request either.  Mayor Harper and I had met with representatives from their group previously in this regard.”

In the press release the group claims that “the Town Square Initiative has met with unprecedented opposition by city officials” and specifically accuse Antioch City Clerk Arne Simonsen, the city’s election official, of being “a vocal critic of the Town Square Initiative,” and creating “one obstacle after another in his apparent attempt to keep this initiative off of the ballot.”

They stated “first, he rejected the petition itself because the language of the city attorney’s summary was modified at the proponents’ request, even though the city attorney had agreed to the modifications.  Second, he gave the proponents the wrong information concerning when the initiative had to be turned in.  Third, he refused to accept forty or fifty voter registration affidavits from initiative proponents on behalf of people who had signed their petition, effectively nullifying these otherwise valid signatures.”

Simonsen Responds

“I handled their initiative petition the same professional way I handled the one from Lamar Thorpe for the card room initiative,” he stated. “When I received the notice of intent to circulate, from proponent Jim Lanter, I immediately got it to then-interim City Attorney Derek Cole. He has up to 15 days to get it back to me. He took almost the entire time. When he gave me his summary, I got it to Jim Lanter. Then their next step was to publish it in a newspaper of general circulation. Once it was published they had 10 days to bring into me proof of publication. When they brought it in, I sat down and compared what I was given by the city attorney with what they published in the newspaper. They were not the same. So when I saw they were not the same, I called Derek Cole and said “hey, I have a problem.” He said, “well I got a call from Dave LarsEn, who wasn’t happy with some of the verbiage in the title and summary that Derek had submitted to me. Between the two of them, Cole agreed to some changes which he gave to Dave Larsen, and that’s what was published. There’s only one problem. According to the elections code, there’s only one way to change the title and summary once it’s been submitted by the City Attorney to the City Clerk. They have 10 days to submit to the court a writ of mandate to seek changes in the title and summary.

Derek Cole wanted me to allow the change. I told him “you were speaking with the proponents’ attorney on a side bar and didn’t include me in the conversation.”

“I contacted some master municipal clerks and asked them what to do,” Simonsen continued. “They told me, the only way to change it was the writ of mandate, because the notice of intent was not the same and that terminates their initiative process, because they did not go through the proper state Elections Code procedure.”

“Both attorneys failed to follow the Elections Code,” he stated.

As to the second accusation, Simonsen provided an explanation.

“They have 180 days from the publication of their notice of intent,” he said. “That would have brought them into early September. Then it would be on a following General Election. But they wanted to make this year’s General Election in November. So they had a shortened time frame of four months instead of six months to gather their signatures.”

“Normally, the County Elections Office takes less than 28 days to do the signature verification, which is what I told them,” Simonsen continued. “But, the Elections Code says they have up to 30 business days to perform the verification.”

“Dave Larsen, their attorney, saw that,” he stated. “I gave him a hard copy of the section of the Elections Code with all that in it. Why didn’t he look that up and advise them?”

Regarding the claim that Simonsen rejected voter registration forms, he said “I didn’t reject them. I told them I cannot accept them. The voter registration forms must be mailed or delivered to the County Elections office.”

Elections Code section 2102 states “the affidavit of registration shall be mailed or delivered to the County Elections official.”

“I didn’t look at the voter registration forms,” Simonsen continued. “They were supposed to be mailed or delivered within three days. Why, when I told them I couldn’t accept them, didn’t they deliver them to the County Elections Office?”

What actually caused the initiative effort to fail to make the November ballot, was that the County Elections Office determined there weren’t enough valid signatures submitted, after performing a sampling process. (Please see the related article here).

When reached for comment, initiative proponent Jim Lanter referred comments to Larsen and another leader of the effort, Joy Motts.

Larsen, who worked as a city attorney for 30 years, responded to Simonsen’s accusations.

“When you look [at the Elections Code], the definition of county elections officer it includes city clerks,” Larsen continued.

In response to Simonen’s statement that the attorneys didn’t follow the law regarding the ballot summary language, Larsen disagreed.

“The two seasoned city attorneys agreed, that since the city attorney is tasked with writing the summary and title, the city attorney can change his mind,” he stated. “When the proponents’ attorney calls and asks to make changes…it’s ridiculous to say the city attorney can’t change the ballot summary. We can certainly do that short of a writ of mandate. You only go to court when the two parties can’t agree on something.”

“You always error on the side of allowing the citizens to be heard,” Larsen added. “The idea that you have to go to court if the two parties are agreeable is ridiculous.”

Motts Claims Obstruction

When reached for comment Motts shared her experience and perspective of what occurred.

“I think it’s important for people to know of the obstructions we ran into along the way,” she stated. “We had an expectation that Arne works for the people and that he would provide us with accurate information, because he’s our elections officer. He doesn’t really work for the city.”

When asked if she approved the press release before Larsen sent it out, she said, “Yes.”

She also shared what County Clerk Joe Canciamilla told her.

“Joe told us that Arne should have accepted those forms,” she said. “He explained that many times initiative petitions come in with voter registrations forms.”

“Arne is an elections officer. Per the law he is obligated to accept those,” Motts stated. “The same day we turned in the petitions, we also picked up the registration cards from the signature gatherers. They handed 30 or 40 originals, plus 75 to 100 copies. They said ‘turn those in with the petitions’ because they’ll accept those.”

“Arne said he wouldn’t accept them and made some comment about if they weren’t registered the day they signed, they weren’t valid. But, that’s not true,” Motts stated. “If they signed the day they filled out their voter registration card, they’re valid.”

When asked what happened to the registration forms, she responded, “We immediately left [Simonsen’s office] and mailed the voter registration forms to the County Elections Office. The originals for the 75 to 100 copies had already been mailed in, but we didn’t know when.”

“Arne inserted himself in the process and made us stop the process and pay another $200,” Motts added. “The deadline [Arne gave us] probably messed us up more than anything.”

The count took less than either the 30 business days allowed or 28 calendar days, as estimated by Simonsen.

Motts said the information Simonsen provided the group didn’t show anything about the 30 business days the County Elections Office could take to count the signatures.

In a May 24th email from Simonsen to Motts, he wrote “you would have to submit your papers by mid July,” and attached a form showing the key dates for the November election. However, the form does not explain the 30 business days that the County Elections Office had to count the signatures.

“The way I found out was I just happened to call the county with questions about the validation process,” she continued. “This was toward the end of June. This guy said we have 12 initiatives in front of you. That’s when we went into a panic.”

That’s when Larsen sent his letter the new Antioch City Attorney. Ltr to City Atty re Petition

“That cost us $250 an hour, a whole bunch of money,” said Motts. “We reached out to Supervisor Federal Glover and Joe Canciamilla, to help expedite the process.”

Motts admitted that even had Simonsen accepted the additional voter registration forms that they might not have had enough valid signatures for the measure to qualify for the ballot.

“Joe also told us that based on the random sampling that even if we had those registration forms, that the probability would have been that we would have failed to have the required signatures,” she continued. “So I don’t know.”

Canciamilla Responds

When asked about the claims by the group regarding Simonsen not accepting the voter registration forms, Canciamilla offered an explanation.

“We’ve had 10 petitions from various cities. Every city clerk has turned in voter registration forms with those petitions except Antioch,” Canciamilla state. “I’m not saying what Arne did was wrong, but that’s what we get normally when they send along the petitions.”

“Arne is the elections official for Antioch,” he continued. “As I told the proponents, we aren’t the arbitrator. Unless we’re asked for advice, we don’t proffer it. Local measures are the city clerks’ call. I advised the proponents that the proper place for challenging is with the superior court. They take up a writ and put it before a judge. That is the mechanism for challenging.”

“We’re Not Going Away”

Asked why they were making this a personal thing and attacking Simonsen, Motts responded.

“We don’t have time to go after Arne, but we’re not going away,” she said. “We just want people to know there was obstruction all along the way. It cost all of us money and heartache, and maybe the ability to get it done.”

Nevertheless, the group’s press release states “The fight has only just begun.”  They also have committed that “a new petition will be circulated shortly; a special election will be sought; and in the meantime, proponents will be tracking the legality of each step the city takes.”

“In short, the verdict may be out concerning whether one can really fight city hall, but in this case, every effort is being made to do exactly that,” the release concludes.

For more information on the group’s effort, visit www.savetheyard.com.

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Congressman DeSaulnier hosts town hall meetings in August

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D, CA-11) will host five more town hall meetings in the communities of Danville, Orinda, Rossmoor, Concord and Pittsburg during the month of August. He held his first in Richmond on Monday night. One of DeSaulnier’s top priorities is to be accessible to his constituents. Since being elected to Congress in January 2015, Mark has hosted 23 town hall meetings and mobile district office hours throughout Contra Costa County.

“Hearing directly from the residents of Contra Costa County helps make me a better representative. It is my hope that these town hall meetings will serve as a place for constituents to share their thoughts and opinions on issues important to our community. I invite you to join me at a town hall meeting to listen to a Congressional update on key policy issues, learn about our legislative work in Congress, and discuss the broad range of services we can provide,” said Congressman DeSaulnier.

Danville Town Hall
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
(Check-in begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Veterans Memorial Building
Community Hall
400 Hartz Avenue, Danville

Orinda Town Hall
Saturday, August 6, 2016
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
(Check-in begins at 10:30 a.m.)
Orinda Library Auditorium
26 Orinda Way, Orinda

Rossmoor Town Hall
Saturday, August 6, 2016
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
(Check-in begins at 12:30 p.m.)
Rossmoor, Fireside Room
1001 Golden Rain Road, Walnut Creek

Concord Town Hall
Monday, August 8, 2016
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
(Check-in begins at 6:00 p.m.)
Concord City Council Chambers
1950 Parkside Drive, Concord

Pittsburg Town Hall
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
(Check-in begins at 6:00 p.m.)
Pittsburg Senior Center
300 Presidio Lane, Pittsburg

For more information or to request ADA accommodations, please email CA11.RSVP@mail.house.gov or call (925) 933-2660

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Following health issue, Ken Turnage returns to race for Antioch City Council

Friday, July 29th, 2016
Ken Turnage II

Ken Turnage II

By Allen Payton

On Friday, Antioch businessman and 2015 Citizen of the Year Ken Turnage II, announced he will run for the Antioch City Council, following a health concern that he thought would keep him out of the race. According to Antioch City Clerk Arne Simonsen, Turnage pulled the necessary papers, Friday to file and run for one of the two council seats up for election in November.

Following is his complete statement:

Today, I am announcing that I will be running for Antioch City Council this fall.

Although I had already previously announced my intention to run, I unexpectedly was forced to make the difficult decision to withdraw because of a prognosis of skin cancer requiring multiple surgeries. I was told a recovery time which would make it difficult to give it my all in a campaign. This week, I underwent the first of multiple surgeries for skin cancer removal—the first being the most difficult and painful.

Fortunately, what I was told to expect, was not the reality. It was a best case scenario and the recovery time is much less. Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but nowhere near what was anticipated by the doctors.

As I am set to restart my campaign, I wanted to be transparent an open in what I considered a private matter while I was facing an uncertain time in my life. It was a shock, it was scary, and I do not wish cancer of any form on anyone. But it’s made me realize how badly I want to work on improving the City of Antioch and continue working with the community.

I believe I have a good track record in wanting what is best for this city and helping where I can. I am asking for your support so together we can work on turning this city around.

For those who may have hesitation about my condition, I would be more than willing to take the time to meet with you before you make your vote this November in what I consider a turning point in the future of Antioch and the city I love so much.

Ken Turnage II, Candidate for Antioch City Council 2016

Turnage is the owner and president of K2GC, Inc. a general contractor in Antioch.

 

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Contra Costa Transportation Authority adopts 30-year plan, places $2.9 billion sales tax measure on November ballot

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Half-cent sales tax in addition to Measure J

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) believes that the future success of Contra Costa County includes offering safe, reliable mobility for all. To provide funding for this goal, on Wednesday, July 20th, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority board – which includes representatives from all parts of the County – voted unanimously to put a tax measure on the November 8 ballot. If approved by voters, the ballot measure will fund transportation improvements throughout Contra Costa County, for the next 30 years. The details are outlined in CCTA’s Transportation Expenditure Plan.

The measure, which will appear on the November 8 ballot, will ask Contra Costa voters to approve a new half-cent sales tax that will generate $2.9 billion in revenues over 30 years to continue to improve the transportation system in Contra Costa. The tax will be in addition to the current half-cent sales tax for transportation in the county. If passed, the sales tax will increase to 9.5 percent in Antioch.

The proposed Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP) is the culmination of months of extensive public outreach, stakeholder engagement, and advocate input. The TEP has also been approved by all of Contra Costa’s 19 cities and towns, as well as the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. The plan focuses on innovative strategies and new technologies to promote a strong economy, protect the environment, and enhance the quality of life for all of Contra Costa’s diverse communities.

“The CCTA Board is incredibly proud of the TEP,” said Authority Board Special Meeting Chair Don Tatzin. “This is a transportation plan that reflects the values of our diverse region, has garnered broad support across the county, and will guide the next 30 years of transportation planning. If a super majority of voters approve the tax measure in November, the tax revenue will provide necessary funding for the transportation improvements included in the TEP.”
Contra Costa residents have made significant contributions to their transportation infrastructure since 1988, when voters passed Measure C, a half-cent sales tax dedicated to maintaining the ability of residents to travel safely and conveniently throughout the county. Measure C helped fund the BART extension to Pittsburg/Bay Point, built the Richmond Parkway, improved bicycle and pedestrian trails in the county, and invested more than $30 million in senior and disabled transit services.

In 2004, voters passed Measure J, which renewed the half-cent sales tax through 2034. Measure J has helped deliver the Fourth Bore of the Caldecott Tunnel, generated $1.3 billion dollars of investments to Highway 4 in Eastern Contra Costa County, including a BART extension to Antioch, and combined with Measure C has provided $286 million to Contra Costa’s cities and towns to maintain and repair local streets.

The TEP includes plans to reduce congestion and smooth traffic; improve BART, bus, ferry, and train service; and fix local streets and roads. It also dedicates unprecedented funding to new technologies and bicycle and pedestrian improvements in every part of the county, to give commuters viable alternatives to driving and in the process help get them out of traffic.

The TEP builds on CCTA’s strong record of fiscal responsibility and includes strong taxpayer protections and accountability. A public oversight committee will provide independent review of all funds raised and spent. It will ensure that funds are spent only in accordance with the voter-approved plan and only to benefit Contra Costa County.

“As we move into the future, Contra Costa’s economic strength is going to depend on people being able to travel quickly and conveniently throughout the county – to jobs, shopping and entertainment destinations, and everywhere else they need to go. This plan – and the measure that will fund the improvements it describes – helps make sure that is a reality in years to come,” said Tatzin.

To find out more information about the transportation improvements planned for the next 30 years – including projects in each of Contra Costa’s 19 cities and towns – and the tax measure, which will fund those plans if approved by voters on November 8, 2016, visit KeepContraCostaMoving.net.
About The Contra Costa Transportation Authority

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) is a public agency formed by Contra Costa voters in 1988 to manage the county’s transportation sales tax program and oversee countywide transportation planning efforts. CCTA is responsible for planning, funding and delivering critical transportation infrastructure projects and programs that connect our communities, foster a strong economy, increase sustainability, and safely and efficiently get people where they need to go. CCTA also serves as the county’s designated Congestion Management Agency, responsible for putting programs in place to keep traffic levels manageable. More information about CCTA is available at ccta.net.

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