A group calling themselves A Committee for a Better Sacramento is sponsoring a citizen-initiated ballot measure for the November election, titled “Sacramento County Transportation Maintenance, Safety, and Congestion Relief Act of 2022—Retail Transactions and Use Tax”. (Note: Some people are referring to this as Measure A, but measure letters are assigned by county elections, not by the sponsors. I’ll continue to refer to it as Measure 2022, for now.)
It has been relayed from others that the committee did not feel that it needed to do any public engagement before developing the text of the measure. The rationale is that since the Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP) is very similar to that proposed in 2020, and before that in 2016, that is all the public engagement necessary. The TEP was indeed approved by the county and city councils, but there was no real public engagement on the issues. Transportation engineers and planners developed a wish list, and the government bodies adopted it without analysis. Except in the City of Sacramento, where the council challenged the plan developed by Public Works, and demanded a plan that better addressed the needs of the citizens and critical issues such as climate change and equity. None of the other entities did this. So the overall TEP is essentially a list of pet projects of the engineers and planners, developed without any real criteria and without reference to the desires of the community. Some board and council members will claim that they know what the public wants, and their approval is all that is necessary. But the fact is, they never asked the public what they thought.
So, the committee is running with that. No public engagement. This is a citizen-led measure, but the committee decided they didn’t need to hear from anyone else. No meetings, no outreach, no nothing.
We do not know who the committee is, and won’t know who it is until they file the measure with county elections, due July 18. I guessing since they have posted the measure and their sponsors on their website, not listing committee members is likely an effort to hide that information from the public. They will be gathering signatures between now and when they submit. I ask that you not sign their petition. To bring up the old adage: “No taxation without representation.” Therefore, no public engagement, no measure, no taxes.
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