Driving to the Roseville Galleria is not much fun. Neither is commuting on Highways 80 and 65 through Rocklin and Lincoln. But with population growth and more homebuilding on the way in Placer County, traffic isn't going to get any better.
Placer is one of a dozen counties in California with a ballot measure to increase the retail sales tax for transportation improvements (Sacramento County has something similar with Measure B). If approved by two-thirds of county voters, it would be in place for 30 years and raise about $1.6 billion to fund highway projects ($380 million specifically for the Highways 80-65 chokepoint), public transit expansion, local street improvements, and other projects in Placer’s suburban and rural areas.
Measure M is a contentious one, and it certainly is making for strange bedfellows (when was the last time the Tea Party and the Sierra Club took the same side on a political issue?). Opponents say it will hurt the local economy, residents already pay high taxes to build and repair roads, and not enough is earmarked for public transit. Advocates say Measure M will relieve congestion and repair roads with strict accountability, and if not this, then what?
Whatever the outcome of Measure M, anyone driving through Placer County will feel the effect.
Join us for a "Policy and a Pint" discussion at Monk's Cellar in Downtown Roseville this Thursday after work (if you work in Sacramento, leave a little early) as two proponents and two opponents of Measure M square off and explain why this ballot initiative will have a major impact -- for better or for worse -- in the Sacramento region.
* Jeff Flint, Campaign Manager for Yes on Measure M
* Michael Garabedian, Vice Chair of the Sierra Club’s Placer chapter
* Tom Hudson, Executive director of the California Taxpayer Protection Committee, and President of the Placer County Taxpayers Association.
* Kirk Uhler, Placer County Supervisor District 4 (Granite Bay and much of Roseville)
Panel discussion and audience Q&A runs 6-7:30 p.m., but come earlier to grab a seat and a good pint of Oktoberfest Lager or a Monk’s Tripel, and stay afterwards to mix and mingle with panelists and your fellow Placer County fans.