Thursday, May 25, 2006

Safeguards in Place for Spending Measure H Funds

Safeguards in Place for Spending Measure H Funds
Reporter Editor:

I support Measure H, the half-cent sales tax increase which will appear on the ballot on June 6. Measure H is of great concern, because it affects everybody, especially our seniors, veterans and disabled citizens.

Measure H establishes a contract with voters, locking in an investment plan that fixes potholes and maintains roads, upgrades safety at high accident locations and on school routes. Measure H benefits every Solano County taxpayer, from Benicia to Suisun City and Vallejo to Dixon. It legally binds politicians and bureaucrats to spend the money the way we the voters tell them and guarantees only the voters can make any changes to the plan.

At present transit funds are inadequate to meet the needs of area seniors, veterans and the disabled. People age 65 and up will increase from 9 percent to 19 percent of Solano County's population by the year 2030 and we need to address the special transit needs of this growing senior population.

Measure H will provide $115 million for senior and disabled transit services that include: fare discounts, expanded paratransit services around Solano County, and new expanded evening and weekend services to medical facilities, shopping and senior centers.

Also, as Vacaville's city treasurer, it is my responsibility to ensure the safeguard of city funds. Measure H has key taxpayer safeguards to ensure that this money is spent only on transportation projects and services. There will be a financial and performance audit every year to make sure the money is spent properly. Only 1 percent of the funds can be used for administrative costs and 99 percent of the money raised will go directly into transportation and safety improvements. These safeguards give me the peace of mind I need and they are why I'm supporting Measure H.

Measure H is not a Democrat, Republican or green issue. It is a people issue.

Just saying no brings us nothing but more gridlock and tragedies. Measure H allows us to finally take control of our transportation destiny.

I urge voters to vote yes on Measure H.

Garland Porter, Vacaville

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