Friday, December 12, 2008

Things that VTA should have told voters about

At the VTA Board workshop yesterday, General Manager Michael Burns told what a lot of us have been suspected but was denied by the supporters during the Measure B campaign.

"It's clear we can't see the BART project getting ($750 million in federal) money if we're spending our local money on other projects," Burns said in an interview earlier this week. "That just doesn't add up."

During the meeting, VTA also admitted that it would receive $2 billion less from the 2000 Measure A than what was projected earlier.

Basically Burns was saying that all the other projects would be off the table, even the airport people mover, a project that has no operating funds identified. The BRT project along Santa Clara Street, which replaced light rail as originally listed on the 2000 Measure A, is also at risk.

Although some think that the bickering should stop, the bickering will never end as long as VTA has to deploy deceptive tactics to get a tax passed. Burns said that BART was approved by voters twice, but we all know that VTA did not put other projects on the ballot twice for voters to approve. VTA controlled which projects go onto the ballot, controlled how much tax to collect, and controlled what information released relevent to voters. VTA has become a Russian style "democracy."

Given the election results in Los Angeles and the North Bay, VTA could've been better off by being more honest.

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