It’s no secret California government has forgotten how to plan for the future. But here in Stanislaus County, we can vote yes on Measure L to fix our roads and to actually maintain what we fix.
Measure L provides our county with a dedicated source of local transportation funding to make streets and highways safer, repair our roads and bridges and, in most cases, require the streets we fix to be repaved at least every eight years.
No more relying on money from Sacramento or Washington. Under Measure L, every penny of new transportation dollars stays right here in Stanislaus County and can’t be touched by the state.
That’s why Measure L enjoys universal support from Stanislaus County community leaders. These supporters include both the Democratic and Republican Parties of Stanislaus County, the Farm Bureau, local firefighters and police officers, and business and labor groups from Salida down to Newman. It even includes the Stanislaus Taxpayers Association, which didn’t simply go neutral on this tax but endorsed it.
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Measure L is a detailed transportation plan that will provide $960 million in direct funding for better roads, safer streets and a stronger local economy over the next 25 years.
Measure L will help put an end to the backups on Highway 99 at the Standiford and Briggsmore interchanges. It will improve safety on our critical transportation corridors that connect communities and promote movement of goods, and it will fix dangerous intersections.
Measure L funds door-to-door shuttle service for shut-in seniors, veterans and the disabled – giving them better access to medical appointments. It also creates safer routes to schools through bike and pedestrian safety improvements in underserved portions of our communities.
Measure L prioritizes road repair and safety improvement around schools and hospitals to ensure our children and families are better protected while walking, riding or commuting in their neighborhoods.
Most important, the traffic relief benefits of Measure L will help improve emergency response times. This, of course, is the top priority for me and my law enforcement colleagues and fire departments throughout Stanislaus County.
Passage of Measure L will make us a “self-help” county, which will qualify us for millions in state and federal matching funds, creating good jobs and growing our local economy by providing over $2 billion of infrastructure investment.
Stanislaus is one of the largest counties (by population) in California that is not a “self-help” county for transportation. Hundreds of millions of dollars in state and federal matching transportation funds are allocated annually to “self-help” counties throughout California that have passed local transportation funding measures.
Our local state and federal elected representatives want to direct transportation funding to our county, but they are hampered by our inability to provide matching funds. We are paying our gas tax to Sacramento and Washington, D.C., but not getting back our fair share because we bring no matching “self-help” money to the table.
Measure L includes strong taxpayer accountability measures. There is no “trust the bureaucrats” in this law. Sacramento cannot access or use this money. All revenue will be used for the local transportation improvement projects and programs set forth in the voter-approved plan.
By law, the county and cities must continue to spend the monies they are currently spending on transportation, ensuring that development will continue to pay its fair share. The measure also requires an annual report by an oversight committee to ensure that all funds are spent correctly.
There are a lot of votes to consider on this November’s ballot, but one measure requires very little debate. To keep us safe, fix the roads and take control of our own future transportation needs, find Measure L on your ballot first and vote yes.
Adam Christianson is sheriff of Stanislaus County; he wrote this for The Modesto Bee.