This is an archive of a past election.
See for current information.
LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Orange County, CA November 7, 2006 Election
Measure M
Renewed Measure M Transportation Ordinance and Investment Plan
County of Orange

Ordinance - 2/3 Approval Required

Pass: 489640 / 69.7% Yes votes ...... 213250 / 30.3% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jan 4 9:36am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (2054/2054)
50.5% Voter Turnout (756348/1497397)
Information shown below: Official Information | Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

This measure would authorize the Orange County Transportation Authority to construct specific transportation improvement and traffic congestion relief projects in Orange County by continuing the existing of one percent retail transaction and use tax for thirty years from the expiration of the current Measure M on April 1, 2011.

Official Sources of Information
Impartial Analysis

Measure M would authorize the Orange County Local Transportation Authority (Authority) to construct specific transportation improvement and traffic congestion relief projects in Orange County by continuing the existing 1/2 of one percent retail transaction and use tax for thirty years from the expiration of the current Measure M on April 1, 2011. Passage of Measure M:
1. Adopts the Renewed Measure M Transportation Investment Plan (Plan) that requires Measure M revenues be spent only in Orange County for freeway projects, street and road improvements, transit projects and environmental cleanup, all as specified in the Plan that was approved by the Orange County Board of Supervisors and all 34 cities in Orange County.

2. Requires that all revenues be deposited in a special fund and used solely for the identified transportation improvements. No more than one percent of the annual revenues may be used for salaries and benefits for administration of the transportation improvement and traffic congestion relief projects funded by the renewed Measure M.

3. Requires that the Plan be reviewed at least every ten years and requires that any change to the funding categories be approved by the voters of Orange County.

4. Establishes an independent Taxpayers Oversight Committee for the purpose of overseeing Measure M compliance and reviewing annual audits of the revenues to ensure that voter mandates have been met. The Orange County Auditor, who is elected by a countywide vote, shall chair the Taxpayers Oversight Committee and shall annually certify if the revenues have been spent in compliance with Measure M.

5. Requires the Authority to annually publish a written report detailing how the revenues have been spent and the progress in implementing the transportation improvement projects in the Plan.

6. Establishes "pay-as-you-go" as the preferred method of financing projects. Bonds may only be issued if pay-as-you-go funding is infeasible. Establishes an appropriations limit for the Authority, as required by the California Constitution and the Public Utilities Code, of $1,123 million for the 2006-2007 fiscal year.

7. Requires that the $11.86 billion in transportation revenues that are estimated to be generated during the 30 year continuation of Measure M must be used to add to and not replace existing public and private funding for transportation improvements in Orange County.

Two-thirds of the voters voting on Measure M must vote "yes" in order for the measure to pass.

  News and Analysis

The Los Angeles Times
(Registration may be required. You may login as, password "smartvoter".)

The Orange County Register
(Registration may be required. You may login as smartvoter, password "smartvoter".) Topix News Search Results
This election is archived. Any links to sources outside of Smart Voter may no longer be active. No further links will be added to this page.
Links to sources outside of Smart Voter are provided for information only and do not imply endorsement.

Arguments For Measure M Arguments Against Measure M
Vote YES on Measure M to relieve congestion, improve traffic safety and fix local roads -- without raising taxes!

Measure M renews the transportation improvement program that helped finance every major highway, transit improvement and street repair in Orange County since 1991.

Vote YES to improve traffic flow on Orange County freeways--the 91, 5, 405, 55, 57, and 22.

Vote YES to fix potholes, resurface streets and synchronize traffic signals in every city in Orange County.

Vote YES to reduce gridlock and improve police, fire and paramedic response times.

Vote YES to provide transit services for seniors and disabled persons and to expand Metrolink with connections to local communities. Measure M includes new protections to keep oily roadway runoff from our beaches.

Taxpayer groups support "M" because it contains strict safeguards to protect your tax dollars:

  • Accountability...An independent citizen oversight committee will hold transportation officials accountable for your tax dollars by reviewing financial audits annually -- ensuring voter mandates are met.
  • Reliability...Government agencies are prohibited from using Measure M dollars for anything except what is authorized by the plan. They cannot make significant modifications without voter approval.
  • Efficiency...The revenue will go to traffic relief, not overhead. No more than 1% of your tax dollars will go for administration.

Measure M guarantees transportation dollars raised in Orange County stay in Orange County. Politicians can't raid the funds.

Without Measure M, congestion relief could be delayed for decades. We can't count on state and federal funds. Many projects won't be built and many improvements can't be delivered without Measure M.

The Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA), the Orange County Taxpayers Association, public safety associations, Orange County Business Council, environmentalists, and neighborhood groups agree: Vote YES on Measure M.

To see Measure M improvements in your community, go to Vote YES on Measure M.

s/ Thomas V. McKernan, President and CEO, Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA)
s/ Reed Royalty, President, Orange County Taxpayers Association
s/ Marian Bergeson, Chair, California Transportation Commission and former Orange County State Senator
s/ Denise Welch, President, Community Civic Association, Laguna Woods Village (formerly Leisure World)
s/ Garry Brown Orange County Coastkeepers

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Don't be misled! Vote NO.

Measure M's an $11,861,900,000 new tax, masquerading under the name of an old tax that Orange County Transportation Agency promised would solve our transportation problems by 2011. Now congestion's worse, and they want 30 more years.

In 1990 they promised:

  • More freeway lanes
  • New lanes on SR-91
  • Reduced senior transit fares
  • Developer payment for street improvements needed for new development
  • Growth management, to prevent overcongestion.

We got:
  • Expensive, exclusive carpool lanes
  • Toll lanes
  • Pennies for seniors; massive subsidies for a handful of railway commuters; millions wasted promoting Centerline.
  • Roads clogged with new traffic; demands for us to pay.
  • Unbridled growth/gridlock, hindering emergency response.

Now they want to repeat the cycle of promises made, promises broken. Vote NO!

A better way: OCTA's website outlines another plan that requires no new tax, trims wasteful spending, and is better for the environment. OCTA's required to eliminate that oily runoff anyway. And synchronized traffic signals promised again? Vote NO.

Most gas taxes we pay never comes back to Orange County. Let's demand the legislature return our fair share, not tax ourselves $11.86 BILLION more. OCTA won't even stipulate that all Measure M money will be spent in Orange County.

SR-91 toll lanes will bring in billions over the next thirty years. Let's use that to improve SR-91 and other freeways.

Don't let OCTA waste more of our tax dollars. VOTE NO on NEW Measure M. Visit

s/ Steve White Committees of Correspondence
s/ Mark Leyes Garden Grove City Councilmember
s/ Sandra L. Genis Former Costa Mesa Mayor/Land Planner
s/ Lawrence Gilbert Investigative Reporter, Cutting Edge A Talkshow, Internet TV News
s/ Chris E. Ema, PE CA Registered Transp Engr #42

This measure would not come into effect until the current measure expires in five more years. Within that time, it's important that we pass a renewed measure M plan -- but not this one.

This is a plan for defeat in the war against congestion. Under this measure, 2030 county congestion delay is projected to increase more than 207%. That's worse congestion than experienced today anywhere nationally.

That need not be the case. This measure is poorly designed and inefficient.

It is part of a long-range plan of which 38% of funds are for transit costing 10 to 100 times as much for the same transportation (person-miles) as roads, and providing less than 2% of our total transportation. Transit share will grow by only one percent of trips.

Most of the measure's transit funds will be spent on expanding and supporting Metrolink, which will carry only 0.2 percent of all trips. It will serve only a part of the county, with the rest getting minimal improvements for the next 30 years. OCTA considers Metrolink the backbone transit system, but
0.2 percent is hardly a wishbone.

The 1990 Measure M provided for important freeway expansions of four, six and more lanes. This plan is limited to inadequate one-lane-in-each-direction, short-term fixes on the 5, 55, 57, and 405. The proposed plan would build only half the number of freeway lane-miles at three times the total local cost of the 1990 measure.

This plan dabbles in transportation rather than focusing on congestion fixes.

This may be our last chance for a generation. We had better get it right. Don't vote for more congestion. Reject this plan and send OCTA the message: "Give us the best congestion relief plan for the money -- not this one."

s/ David L. Mootchnik Member Southern California Commuters Forum
s/ Donald D. Van Winkle Member Southern California Commuters Forum
s/ John Pearson Member
s/ Ruth T. Smith Member
s/ Albert J. Mallinckrodt Principal AJM Engineering

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
The opponents' arguments don't offer a single alternative to relieve traffic congestion.

Here are the facts: Measure M builds on 16 years of keeping Orange County moving -- without increasing taxes.

The Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) monitored the plan to renew Measure M, saying: "Any delay in renewing Measure M will stall critical highway improvements for years and only increase cost. This is a balanced plan that will relieve future congestion, fix potholes and synchronize 2,000 traffic signals on major roads."

- Hamid Bahadori, Principal Transportation Engineer, Auto Club The Orange County Taxpayers Association helped craft Measure M's fiscal oversight and protections, saying: "Existing Measure M has kept its promises and deiivered highway projects, keeping faith with taxpayers. Improvements to the Garden Grove Freeway are possible today, years ahead of schedule, because of Measure M."

- Reed Royalty, President, Orange County Taxpayers Association Coastkeepers and Amigos de Bolsa Chica support Measure M because it will clean up runoff from roads and keep our beaches cleaner. Business and labor support Measure M because it keeps our economy strong.

Measure M will widen the 91, 405, 5, 57 and 55 freeways within existing Right-of-Way, and address chokepoints on every major freeway, without raising taxes. It will improve the Orange Crush and dozens of interchanges throughout Orange County. It provides the primary source of funding to repair and maintain local roads.

Critics always have reasons why we shouldn't do something. Measure M is the best answer to a serious problem and deserves our support.

Vote Yes on Measure M.

s/ Reed Royalty, President, Orange County Taxpayers Association
s/ Dr. Marlon Boarnet, Chair, Department Planning, Policy, and Design, UC Irvine
s/ Lucy Dunn, Chief Executive Officer, Orange County Business Council
s/ Jim Adams, Council Representative, LA/ Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council
s/ Tom Anderson, President, Amigos de Bolsa Chica

Orange Home Page || Statewide Links || About Smart Voter || Feedback
Created: January 4, 2007 09:36 PST
Smart Voter <>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office or political parties.