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Letter to the Editor: Thank You from SBCAG for Measure A Vote

The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments board of directors would like to express its deep gratitude to county voters for their strong support of Measure A at the polls on Nov. 4. Nearly 80 percent of local voters supported Measure A. Every community in Santa Barbara County supported Measure A by more than the two-thirds margin necessary for approval. Voters clearly understand the need for local funding to improve transportation.

Measure A will generate more than $1 billion for important transportation improvements in all parts of Santa Barbara County. This revenue will provide $140 million to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety by widening Highway 101 on the South Coast. Measure A funds will help local governments maintain the more than 2,000 miles of local streets and roads in the county, provide new highway improvements in the North County, fund safe routes to school and bicycle and pedestrian improvements, expand local and regional bus service, and support specialized paratransit services for seniors and people with disabilities.

Measure A will help our county secure more than $500 million in matching state and federal transportation funds. Our local Measure A funds are secure and can only be used to improve transportation in our county. They cannot be diverted to balance budgets in Sacramento or Washington. The interests of local taxpayers will be protected by a citizens oversight committee and annual fiscal audits.

SBCAG and the transportation providers in Santa Barbara County appreciate the trust that voters have placed in us to use tax dollars to maintain, repair and improve our transportation infrastructure.

Measure A was successful because the plan that was crafted over the past two years was the product of cooperation and compromise among all the regions of the county and a wide range of community, business, environmental, taxpayer and labor organizations. The respect for different points of view and the willingness to find solutions that work for everyone is a great model that can be used to help local governments and our citizens resolve other current and future challenges.

3rd District Supervisor Brooks Firestone
Chairman, Santa Barbara County Association of Governments

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