Smart Voter
Marin County, CA November 3, 1998 General
Measure A
Transportation and Land Use Advisory Measure

58,707 / 63.4% Yes votes ...... 33,933 / 36.6% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Infomation shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

Measure A Does Not Increase Taxes. Should any new voter approved sales tax be used to: Implement Commuter Rail Service between Sonoma and Marin; Expand local bus and shuttle services; Reduce development and traffic by protecting environmentally sensitive areas; Complete Highway 101 Carpool Lanes from Novato through Mill Valley; Improve local streets; Expand transit for seniors and disabled; and Improve pedestrian/bicycle paths; Complete program during 20 year period; Administrative expenses limited to 2%?

Impartial Analysis from the County Counsel
Measure A is an advisory vote concerning the expenditure of any new County sales tax revenues approved by the voters.

As the measure states, its purpose is not to increase taxes. Rather, Measure A's purpose is to indicate the general opinion of County voters as to whether any new sales tax revenues approved by the voters shall be used to fund the transportation improvements and land use objectives listed in the measure; whether those projects shall be completed within twenty years; and whether the administrative expenses incurred in completing the improvements shall be limited to two percent of the sales tax revenues.

Section 9603(c) of the California Elections Code governing the purpose and effect of such an advisory vote states:

". . . `advisory vote' means an indication of general voter opinion regarding the ballot proposal. The results of the advisory vote will in no manner be controlling on the sponsoring legislative body."

The opinion expressed through the vote on this advisory measure, while of interest to the County Board of Supervisors, is not in any manner legally controlling on the Board of Supervisor's use of the proceeds of any sales tax.

Dated: August 21, 1998


  News and Analysis

The Press Democrat

  • Project 101 - Marin County - While the two counties must come to some agreement if anything is to be done about Hwy. 101, Marin County often has a different take on the issues than does Sonoma County.
Nonpartisan Information

Marin Transportation Steering Committee

General Links

Coalition For Transportation Choice

Transporation measure mail list Marin Citizens for Effective Transportation Basic Elements
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Arguments For Measure A Arguments Against Measure A
MEASURE A IS NOT A TAX. It is an advisory measure that sets priorities for how we want new sales tax dollars spent.

After many years of frustrating, aggravating traffic, we need real relief! Gridlock on 101 and local roads pollutes our air and keeps us in our cars instead of at work or home. Potholes, deteriorating streets and unsafe intersections only make matters worse.

Community, environmental and business leaders ask you to Vote Yes on Measure A. Help create a balanced plan for relieving congestion and improving roadways while protecting Marin's special quality of life.

Vote Yes because it will give Marin County commuter rail service between Healdsburg and San Rafael.

Vote Yes because it will improve local bus service, including new community shuttle buses and other flexible transit services.

Vote Yes because it will reduce transportation demands by acquiring development rights in environmentally sensitive areas, like Baylands.

Vote Yes because it directly attacks congestion on Highway 101 by completing carpool lanes between Novato and Mill Valley.

Vote Yes because it improves maintenance and repair of local streets.

Vote Yes because it expands Paratransit services for senior citizens and disabled persons.

Vote Yes because it expands pedestrian and bicycle facilities, including a bikeway between the Golden Gate Bridge and San Rafael.

Vote Yes because it balances what's good for our environment, our economy, and our quality of life.

Measure A puts your money to work effectively by limiting administrative expenses to only 2 percent.

Put together all the pieces and we have a balanced approach to Marin's transportation needs.

Join the League of Women Voters, the Sierra Club, chambers of commerce and your friends and neighbors in voting Yes on Measure A.

s/ Marjorie Macris, Chair

Executive Committee, Marin Group, Sierra Club

s/ Stan Rowan
Marin County Fire Chief

s/ Al Boro, Mayor

City of San Rafael

s/ Suzanne Dunwell, CEO

Novato Chamber of Commerce

s/ Donna Bjorn, President

League of Women Voters, Marin County

Rebuttal to Arguments Above
Measure A proponents propose something far worse than doing nothing. They propose taking money that could be used to alleviate congestion and using it instead for a plan that will spur development, burden us financially and cause gridlock.

The most costly project is the slow diesel train to nowhere that will run through currently undeveloped baylands and disrupt existing neighborhoods. It paves the way for massive new developments that will worsen traffic, create noise, destroy precious wetlands and diminish air quality -- such as occurred in the East Bay as a result of BART.

Even worse, the consulting study on which this plan is based admits it won't reduce congestion, contrary to proponents' claims.

Look at who will benefit. Development and Real Estate interests, major property owners, Chambers of Commerce whose purpose is to promote growth.

Wasting funds on irrelevant projects, Measure A eliminates the opportunity to seek more workable solutions. Possibilities including direct Sonoma to SF ferries, telecommuting advances, improved bus service and land use planning controls were never considered.

Proponents say you can have faith in this plan because several different groups helped decide how your tax money would be spent. That's not surprising since each group plans to spend its piece of the sales tax pie on projects that serve its own special interests, but do little to reduce congestion.

Say NO to congestion, environmental degradation and pork barrel spending. Join Marin Audubon Society, CAPS, the Environmental Forum of Marin and taxpayer representatives. Vote NO on Measure A.

s/ Barbara Salzman, President

Marin Audubon Society

s/ Priscilla Bull, Director

Citizen Advocates for the Preservation
of St. Vincents/Silveira

s/ Georgiana McCarty, Former Executive Committee

Member, Marin Group Sierra Club

s/ Nancy P. McCarthy, President

Marin United Taxpayers Association

s/ Michael R. Arnold, Ph.D., Chair

Marin Citizens for Effective Transportation
Measure A is a hoax. Because this measure is advisory, the politicians can spend the money any way they choose. There are no guarantees on how the $300 million will be spent no matter how the public votes. The money goes into Marin's general fund.

Even if Measure A were enforceable, it would not relieve congestion or preserve Marin's environment. It would accomplish just the opposite: fueling growth to choke our roads and degrade our quality or life -- just as BART has done in the East Bay.

The most expensive item in this measure is a diesel train -- and this "Developer's Express" is a boondoggle. Running a passenger train through the currently undeveloped bayfront lands north of San Rafael will increase pressure for high-density growth in those areas: development which will dump thousands of additional cars daily onto our roads.

In addition the train would:

Cost Marin taxpayers a fortune and generate millions of unfunded operating deficits.

Gridlock downtown San Rafael at intersections because there are no overpasses.

Take few cars off the road during commute period because most riders will be former bus riders.

Travel so slowly -- averaging less than 35 mph -- it would not be competitive with private vehicles.

Provide no relief for Southern Marin commuters because it will end in San Rafael. It will not go to San Francisco or even to the Larkspur ferry!

Destroy migratory bird and wildlife habitat in Marin baylands.

Lower air quality through emission of diesel exhaust.

Don't be fooled. This plan would not reduce congestion on 101. Building a slow train that starts in Sonoma County and goes no further south than San Rafael would be a cruel hoax on Marin commuters and could trigger massive development.

Join environmental and taxpayer groups, transit advocates and community leaders in voting NO on MEASURE A!

s/ Barbara Salzman, President
Marin Audubon Society

s/ Ann Thomas, Director
Citizen Advocates for Preservation of St. Vincent's/Silveira

s/ Michael R. Arnold, Ph.D., Chair
Marin Citizens for Effective Transportation

s/ Joy Dahlgren, Ph.D.
Transportation Research Engineer

s/ Nancy P. McCarthy, President
Marin United Taxpayers Association

Rebuttal to Arguments Above
Opponents of Measures A+B have an alarming approach to our growing traffic problems in Marin County -- do nothing! That's unacceptable.

Measure A tells the Board of Supervisors taxpayers want their money spent to relieve congestion. And it uses a uniquely Marin approach to balanced transportation planning and environmental protection.

Measures A+B were developed by a broad-based coalition of environmental, civic, business and neighborhood representatives. The Board of Supervisors has supported and participated in this process and voted unanimously to place Measures A+B on the ballot.

Opponents say nothing about what can or should be done to relieve congestion, improve the environment and enhance safety in Marin County and its cities.

The Sierra Club, the Marin Conservation League and the Marin League of Conservation Voters say Vote Yes on Measures A+B as one of the most environmentally balanced transportation plans ever offered in California. In addition to local bus service, trains and bikeways, it would acquire environmentally sensitive lands including Baylands to reduce development and future traffic.

The Marin Coalition for Balanced Transportation says Vote Yes on Measures A+B because it will relieve gridlock on Highway 101 and local thoroughfares.

The League of Women Voters and local chambers of commerce say Vote Yes on Measures A+B because its balanced approach will make millions more in state and federal dollars available to help solve Marin's transportation problems.

Doing nothing is unacceptable. Vote Yes on Measures A+B.

s/ Mary Jane Burke

Marin County Educator

s/ Kathy Lowrey, President

Marin Conservation League

s/ Janet Pence, Treasurer

Gray Panthers of Marin

s/ Betsey Cutler, Former Mayor

City of Mill Valley

s/ Ernie Gray, Mayor Emeritus

City of Novato

Text for Measure A
This Measure Does Not Increase Taxes. It is an Advisory Measure which states the intent of the Voters in Marin County that the funds from any new sales tax be spent according to the following program allocations.

Implement Rail Service: $75 Million

Implement Marin segment of Commuter Rail Passenger service on the Northwestern Pacific railroad right-of-way between Sonoma County and Marin County. The initial service would extend from Healdsburg to San Rafael with planned service to Larkspur funded from other sources.

Expand Local Bus Service: $70 Million

Expand and improve local bus service in Marin County, including implementation of new community shuttle bus services and flexible transit and rideshare services to West Marin.

Reduce Future Development and Traffic: $55 Million

Reduce future traffic by protecting environmentally sensitive areas, including Baylands, which have major development potential. These sites would be protected through acquisition of land and/or purchase of development rights. This program would be used to protect additional workforce housing.

Complete Highway 101 Carpool Lanes: $35 Million

Complete the HOV Carpool Lanes on Highway 101 in both directions from Novato through Mill Valley by closing the gap through San Rafael from Lucky Drive to North San Pedro Road.

Improve Local Streets and Roads: $40 Million

Improve maintenance and repair of local streets and roads in cities, towns, and unincorporated areas.

Expand Transit Service for Seniors and Disabled: $15 Million

Expand and improve the existing Paratransit services for senior citizens and disabled persons.

Improve Pedestrian and Bicycle Paths: $10 Million

Improve and expand existing pedestrian and bicycle paths and facilities including a North-South bikeway between the Golden Bridge and San Rafael.

TOTAL $300 Million

All the projects funded with the sales tax revenues should be completed within 20 years. Administrative expenses would be limited to a maximum of 2%. All projects will undergo thorough environmental review in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act. Additional program revenues generated from sales tax proceeds or other sources should be reprogrammed as follows:

a) $5 million to bus service;
b) $15 million to rail service;
c) $5 million to pedestrian and bicycle paths; and
d) $12 million to local streets and roads.

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Created: February 16, 1999 18:54
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