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Countywide transportation sales tax promises congestion relief, generates glut of questions

Original post made on Oct 22, 2018

Can voters countywide be convinced to support yet another sales tax? Supporters of Measure W, a proposed 30-year, countywide half-cent sales tax for transportation that requires a two-thirds majority to pass, hope the answer to that questions is "yes," but many other questions are being raised.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 19, 2018, 7:56 PM

Comments (12)

Posted by Thomas Paine
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Oct 22, 2018 at 9:06 am

What a joke. Measure W provides $2 million annually for grade separations. Translated that means Cal Train pays consultants $2 million to study the issue with the expectation that consultants will be making generous contributions to the political campaigns of the folks who hire them. Vote No on W!

Posted by guaranteed minimum income
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 22, 2018 at 9:23 am

Yes on W.

Have to start somewhere. The perpetual naysayers always claim a better idea, which amazingly is never an option.

Yes for all infrastructure and traffic improvements.

Posted by Onlooker
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Oct 22, 2018 at 10:45 am

As someone who never uses CalTrain, I fail to see why I should support this. Ridiculous waste of taxpayer money.

Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 22, 2018 at 11:25 am

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

TBWB Strategies Web Link was identified as the firm which masterminded the Get Us Moving(GUM) campaign paid for with >$1,000,000 of your tax dollars.
I have been trying to track campaign activity by the YES on W supporters. Searching the SMC Election website for YES on W comes up empty. Also, searching via Web Link under "View Existing Campaign Finance Reports" "11/06/2018" "Measures" comes up blank for Measure W.

After receiving a mailing from TBW(parent of TBWB) I was able to retrieve the FPPC 460 and 497 campaign filings for the committee "Yes on W - San Mateo County Neighbors for Congestion Relief" using their FPPC ID# 1407448. Even though those filings clearly identified the committees FULL name, SMC Elections has left off the Yes on W part of the Committee name! You can obtain copies of those filings on my website:

Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 22, 2018 at 11:32 am

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

TBWB has a proven approach to successful public finance measures that involves five critical steps.

Step 1: Feasibility study to determine if and under what conditions your agency can pass a local funding measure.

Step 2: Build consensus with outreach and awareness-building strategies that position your measure for success.

Step 3: Build a strong measure by aligning the measure’s features with the community’s priorities and sensitivities.

Step 4: Campaign for the win by efficiently getting your message out to persuade voters and mobilize your base of support.

Step 5: Bridge to the next election by continuing positive and transparent community dialogue about how voter-approved funding is being utilized.

This is electioneering paid for by taxes, and should be a FELONY!

Posted by guaranteed minimum income
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 22, 2018 at 11:40 am

"As someone who never uses..."

That's the spirit!

I will never use schools again, so let's get rid of them.

I carry a gun, so let's get rid of those expensive police and courts.

My wife is a doc and we keep supplies at home, so clearly we are best served by eliminating all medical buildings, all urgent care and everything up to a hospital OR - in case I need it someday.

I'm not traveling much, so SFO's gotta go. And those bridges? I never go to the East Bay (too diverse) or Marin (too librul,) so sell the bridges off for scrap.

Stop signs are a complete waste of time. Gone! Bike lanes, too!

I have a yuuuuggggee list of roads I'll never drive on, so quit spending money on repair of those particular roads. I have others that I plan on using, so let's divert all repair money to them - IMMEDIATELY!!!!

Thank you, Mr. 'onlooker', for making it so clear!

Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 22, 2018 at 1:40 pm

No on W -- We're adding people faster than we're fixing the traffic congestion so we're perpetually behind the 8 Ball.

What politicians fail to realize is that sometimes the system reaches its saturation point. This is a regional problem and should be fixed regionally. Go to any metro area and you'll see traffic congestion -- LA, San Diego, Sacramento and it continues to creep into the outlying suburbs.

Politicians, etc. continue to believe that mass/public transit is the solution. For most people it doesn't work. I use it when it makes sense for me, even bike when I can. But stop trying to promote it as the "solution".

No on W

Posted by Enuff
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 22, 2018 at 1:41 pm

See today's (Monday, October 22nd) editorial in the Palo Alto Daily Post. SamTrans will get HALF the money from Measure W, even though their bus ridership has been steadily declining. But the head of SamTrans, Jim Hartnett, got $516,568 in salary and benefits in 2016, and probably more than that in 2017. Hmmm...
As Dave Price says, if SamTrans was going to reduce traffic, it would have happened by now. We don't need more buses!
Instead we get these incessant requests for more money. And here's the kicker: SamTrans spent $1 million of our taxpayer dollars on the Measure W campaign! So that's how they use our money.
Folks, this is a con game. Vote NO on Measure W.

Posted by Onlooker
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Oct 22, 2018 at 3:29 pm

My point is why should some taxpayers who live in areas where such services are not utilized (ie Caltrain and samtrans) have to pay for them? It makes no sense. VOTE NO ON W!

Posted by Natalie Givens
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 22, 2018 at 5:42 pm

Q. Why don’t government agencies have enough money for transportation projects?

A. Because public employee pensions and lifetime healthcare are sucking up more and more tax dollars every year and are increasing at an accelerating rate.

Taxes like this appear unrelated, but they are not.

Unless the core problem is addressed and public employees have to contribute to 401K types of plans like the rest of us, we will continue to see special taxes like this popping up for everything. Schools, open space, transportation, affordable housing, homelessness, you name it.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 22, 2018 at 6:29 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"Q. Why don’t government agencies have enough money for transportation projects?"

Because, thanks to our corrupt legislature, all public works projects, ie "transportation projects" must be done at "prevailing wage". Guess what prevailing wage is? Prevailing wage is what the local UNION trade makes PLUS it's health insurance, PLUS it's retirement pension. Guess what that means? If a non-union contractor happens to manage to win a bid for a public works project, they must pay their workers what usually amounts to THREE times the going non-union rate. Thus guaranteeing labor unions a lock on public works projects.

Our legislators are in the pockets of organized labor and contractors that are signatory to labor unions. Just look at the trucks of contractors that do public works. What do you see? No on 6. Because defeating 6 means more money for them.

Our state has been totally corrupted. THAT'S why our government agencies don't have enough money for transportation projects.

Posted by S Von
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 22, 2018 at 8:48 pm

We need infrastructure.

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