In response to the measure's shifted outcome, several of the measure's critics have expressed interest in a recount.
San Mateo County Sheriff Deputy Heinz Puschendorf, a candidate for the office of sheriff in June, is spearheading plans to request a recount. According to county government watchdog Michael Stogner, Puschendorf is asking that the Board of Supervisors authorize public funding of the cost and is organizing volunteers to conduct a by-hand recount of the ballots.
According to Jim Irizarry, San Mateo County assistant chief elections officer, a recount must be requested within five days of the county certifying the election, scheduled for Dec. 6. After that, the vote recount must be completed within seven days.
Andrew Boone, one of the lead opponents of the measure, said he hoped a recount would be done, but noted that the measure's organized opponents hadn't discussed the possibility of a recount. "I think the recount definitely could be successful," he added.
He noted that proponents of Measure W also put out mailers and advertisements in the week or so before the election, so it's also possible that the people who voted last voted in favor of the measure in higher proportion than people who voted earlier in the election cycle.
"That's our guess," he said. "There's no way to know."
What Measure W will do
Plans call for directing the tax revenue toward addressing congestion on highways and local roads, safety improvements, grade-separation along the Caltrain tracks, bike and pedestrian improvements, regional transit connections, and the public transit agencies that serve the county: SamTrans and Caltrain.
Measure W will generate about $80 million a year <0x2104> and $2.4 billion over 30 years — for the San Mateo County Transit District. The tax would apply to all sales transactions of "tangible goods" that take place in the county, not including groceries or services.
According to county Board of Supervisors President Dave Pine, "Our transportation systems haven't kept pace with the growth of our economy."
Measure W proposes to put the tax revenue toward a "congestion relief plan," broken down into transportation project types, each intended to receive a designated percentage of the revenue, and each with a list of sample projects that could be funded over the duration of the tax.
Some of the sample projects for road improvements (22.5 percent of the revenue) include building grade separations on Bayfront Expressway in Menlo Park; installing express lanes on Bayfront Expressway in Menlo Park and East Palo Alto; reconfiguring Interstate 280 and Alpine Road in unincorporated San Mateo County; making highway interchange improvements along U.S. 101 at Woodside Road and University Avenue; and creating a countywide transportation demand management program to promote alternatives to solo driving.
Ten percent of the funding would go to cities for projects like street paving, pothole repair, shuttles, car pools, promoting biking and pedestrian programs, coordinating signals, and pursuing Caltrain grade separations. Two and a half percent would be strictly for grade separations.
Funding for each city would be determined based on its population and road mileage. About 1.88 percent of the funding in this category would go to Atherton, 3.2 percent to East Palo Alto, 4.89 percent to Menlo Park, 1.49 percent to Portola Valley, 1.79 percent to Woodside, and 12.54 to unincorporated parts of the county. In areas where roads are bad, the funding would have to go toward paving improvements until the roadways reach a standard level of quality.
Another 5 percent of the funding would go to bicycle, pedestrian and other "active transportation" projects aimed at making walking and biking safer and more convenient in the county.
Ten percent would go toward infrastructure and services to improve transit connectivity in the region. This is the funding pool that could support a Dumbarton corridor project — a collection of proposals approved by the county transportation agency to get people to and from the East Bay along the Dumbarton vehicle bridge and possibly via a rebuilt rail bridge.
This funding pool could generate as much as $240 million over 30 years, substantially more than the $130 million dedicated to Dumbarton corridor improvements that voters approved as part of Regional Measure 3 (the bridge toll tax increase) in June, according to Pine.
The other half of the measure's funding would go toward supporting operations and capital needs of the SamTrans bus and paratransit service, Caltrain, "and other mobility services administered by the district." Projects in this category include initiatives for SamTrans such as increasing bus frequency, expanding bus service hours, and providing better options for commuters to travel more easily between home, transit and job centers. For Caltrain, those projects include investments to expand service after electrification and boost ridership capacity.
Measure W funding
Sponsors of Measure W received significant contributions from large property owners, receiving $100,000 each from Facebook and the David D. Bohannon Organization; $25,000 from the Sobrato Organization; and donations of $15,000 from the San Mateo County Economic Development Association, $15,000 from Woodland Park Property Owner LLC, and $10,000 from Sequoia Hospital Dignity Health.
Donations also included $100,000 from Genentech in South San Francisco, $40,000 from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and $5,000 from the Plenary Group in Los Angeles, which has partnered with Facebook to conduct environmental analysis on a proposal to rebuild the Dumbarton rail corridor.
Other donations greater than $10,000 include $50,000 from Prometheus Real Estate Group in San Mateo; $50,000 from Herzbog Contracting Corp. in Missouri; $50,00 on Oct. 4 from Harbor View Property, San Francisco, and later, on Nov. 2, $49,500 from Harbor View Property LLC; $25,000 from the California Conference Board Amalgamated Transit Union Issues Committee; $25,000 from San Francisco Laborers' Local 261, San Francisco; $25,000 from American Medical Response in Granite Bay; $25,000 from Hanson Bridgett LLP in San Francisco; $25,000 from Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3 in Alameda; $20,000 from the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council Issues PAC; $12,000 from KP Financial SVCS OPS in Pasadena; $15,000 from the Yes on W campaign in Burlingame; and $15,000 from the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council Issues Account in Sacramento.
The formal campaign opposing Measure W, the "Committee Opposing the San Mateo County Sales Tax Increase Measure W" according to filings, was funded largely by Adam Cozzette of San Bruno, who contributed $5,500 to the campaign. Thomas Weissmiller of San Mateo also contributed $200.
Almanac reporter Dave Boyce contributed to this story.
This story contains 1134 words.
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