I read my Metro Board colleague, Supervisor Michael D. Antoonovich’s, article regarding MTA’s Measure M. While I respect my esteemed colleague in his support for the measure, I would like very much to clarify my position.
When the time came to vote to place the measure, “the forever tax,” on the ballot, Supervisor Knabe and I voted “no.”
Supervisor Antonovich is correct in portraying my support position on the development of Measure M through the “bottoms-up” process that resulted in a $273 billion comprehensive listing of transportation projects throughout Los Angeles County.
I supported this process and the concept of placing an additional half-cent sales tax before the electorate until the Draft Expenditure Plan was released in March this year.
The plan presented at that point effectively “red-lined” projects in southeast Los Angeles County that had been promised under Measure R. Additionally, decades of delay was built into the phasing of certain projects, which became subsequently leap-frogged by new ones.
There was no recognition of the county, state and national significance of the highway projects requested by southeast L.A. County nor was there an opportunity to discuss alternative formulas for tax dollars returned to the cities.
Through the board process, Supervisor Knabe and I continued to work on re-establishing regional equity into the process, to no avail. Our request to prioritize for funding second- and third-decade Measure R projects was ignored by our MTA Board colleagues who supported different priorities.
It is no accident that mega-projects such as the Sepulveda Pass project has priority over projects in the South Bay and Gateway Cities sub-regions.
My enthusiasm for the initial process was quelled by the result, and I regret I cannot support the outcome.