Alameda County Measure BB drawing fire from opponents

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Election day is just three weeks away and a measure to provide billions for transportation in Alameda County is drawing fire from opponents.

Election day is just three weeks away and a measure to provide billions for transportation in Alameda County is drawing fire from opponents.

While many want anything that would make traffic and transit move, just as many outright oppose raising the county's sales tax.

"This one is so bad, it's such a turkey. It has so many big mistakes in it," tax consultant Jerry Cauthen said.

Cauthen is just one of several representatives who gathered Tuesday to fight what they're calling a misleading ad campaign being funded by supporters of the Alameda County Transportation Commission's sales tax measure known as Measure BB.

If the measure passes it would generate almost $8 billion with nearly half for public transit and over $2 billion for street repairs. It would also fulfill a promise made over a decade ago by generating $400 million to bring BART to Livermore. And that, Cauthen says, would be a massive waste of taxpayer dollars.

"A very small city of 82,000 people does not justify a BART line. In no way does it justify a BART line," Cauthen said.

"If I don't walk and fight, the grandchildren, I mean what do I say to them in three years?" Judy Galletti asked.

Galletti agrees and she believes her taxes have already paid for the long-ago-promised BART extension. She doesn't want to pay for it again.

"For them to come with another plan, we're very skeptical. We're not sure what they're thinking," Galletti said.

"We're hoping we can bridge the gap," Sylvia Stadmire said.

Stadmire not only supports Measure BB, but she helped to push Measure BB, which narrowly failed voter approval in 2012. She says yes on Measure BB is about more than roads and highways, it's also about the future and serving communities and people in need.

"It's important that they understand that the future for themselves and their children will depend on the groundwork that we've done now," Stadmire said.

The battle for votes will go on another three weeks; a two-thirds vote is needed for a win.

Related Topics:
politicstaxesvotingballot measuretraffictransportationpoliticsBerkeleyAlameda
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