Jennifer Montgomery: Vote ‘yes’ on Measure M (opinion) | SierraSun.com

Jennifer Montgomery: Vote ‘yes’ on Measure M (opinion)

Jennifer Montgomery
Opinion

Politics in eastern Placer County has always been complicated. There are many facets to all issues and projects, with many points of view.

But central to all of them, is the notion that Lake Tahoe is one of the world’s great marvels which deserves to be treated with respect. Voting yes on Measure M will help us achieve environmental goals that will help us protect Lake Tahoe while improving local residents quality of life.

I believe that Measure M, Placer County’s half cent transportation sales tax, represents one of the greatest opportunities for investment in Tahoe’s future ever placed before voters. As the Tahoe area representative on the Placer County Board of Supervisors and as a taxpayer myself, it is critical to me that Tahoe gets its “fair share” of the $1.6 billion that will be generated over 30 years, should the measure pass.

We heard your opinions that you didn’t want the money to be used for new roads and that the money should be spent based on priorities set right here in the Basin, through the Municipal Advisory Councils and leadership from organizations, such as the Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association and recreation groups.

An improved quality of life in the Tahoe Basin is dependent upon one immutable fact: We must invest in transit and other non private vehicle transportation.

Measure M’s passage would represent one of the largest investments in Tahoe transit ever. Some $1.6 million annually ($46 million over 30 years), is guaranteed for Tahoe transportation needs. I’m quite sure that every stakeholder in Tahoe would agree that improving our transit options–free, fun and frequent bus service — getting folks out of their cars — should be everyone’s priority.

Furthermore, Measure M funds will result in recreational trail expansions, additional snow removal, and fixes to our crumbling neighborhood roads. There is a Safe Routes to Schools component that invests in more sidewalks and crosswalks surrounding our neighborhood schools. I encourage you to visit http://keepplacermoving.com/tahoe-basin to get the full details on the spending plan.

As your representative, I am extremely concerned that Tahoe and Eastern Placer County gets its fair share. We prioritized this during the period when the folks at the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency put the spending plan together and we got it. If passed, Measure M guarantees that Tahoe will actually get MORE than its fair share of the revenues.

In the Basin, we currently generate slightly less than 3% of total sales tax revenue collected in Placer County. Measure M assures us that at least 3% of those countywide monies will ALWAYS go to the Tahoe Basin — even as the county continues to grow at double digit figures on the west side. When combined with the dedicated monies for “Rural Roads,” Measure M means that we will get more than our fair share of the funds.

Measure M is worth getting behind. It is fair, it is not growth inducing in the eastern county, and it addresses one of the biggest quality of life issues we face: traffic congestion. I urge you to join me in voting Yes on Measure M.

Jennifer Montgomery is Placer County Supervisor for District 5 and a Donner Summit resident.