Jul 29, 2014

Brentwood Community Council Supports Measure J

Included in the vote was a motion to educate and encourage Brentwood constituents to support the sales tax to speed up the overhaul of regional public transportation projects.

Brentwood Community Council Supports Measure J

The Brentwood Community Council voted to support Measure J on Tuesday night where, if approved on the Nov. 6 ballot by voters, it would require Metro to break ground on 15 major transit and highway projects within five years instead of 20 years. The voted included the council stating they will encourage constituents to support the measure as well.

The vote was eight in favor, four opposed and three abstained. Last weekend, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to place Measure J on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Zone 5 Representative Isaac Cohen spoke against the council's motion, said it was inappropriate to vote on the matter Tuesday night given Metro's latest presentation and his position on the Brentwood Homeowners Association.

Cosette P. Stark, director of research and development, told the council Measure J will extend the sales tax approved in 2008 for 30 years without an increase and allow additional funds to sell bonds for accelerating seven transit capital projects and up to eight highway capital projects.

In addition, Stark said Measure J eases restrictions on shifting project funding between transit and highway projects, noting that funds must remain within the same subregion and it requires a two-third's board vote. Stark noted that, if approved, Measure J will increase the Westside Subway Extension project by 14 years, the regional conector by six years, the Green Line extension to LAX by five years and the San Fernando Valley I-405 Transit Corridor Connection by 14 years.

Zone 6 Representative Kyle Kozloff said he would like to speed up the projects.

"That type of work enchances economic development and liveability for this place," he said. "To give up on an opportunity like this is a mistake."

Said Jabbari, representing the council's volunteer organizations and cultural institutions, said he thinks Measure J is useful and the projects it's serving are useful.

"But my concern is, will there be waste and duplication?" he said.

After calculating 1.5 percent of administrative costs, rail and rapid transit expansion accounts for 35 percent of Measure J spending, with highway improvements and bus operations both accounting for 20 percent spending, according to documents Stark provided.

In local return, Stark said the project could bring more pothole repair, bikeway and pesdestrian enhancements, carpool and rideshare programs and signal synchonization.

For more information on Measure J, click here.

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