To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Plan circulating to extend transit sales tax


By Rick Orlov, October 6, 2013

Don’t look now but a new version of Measure J — the proposal that would have extended the half-percent sales tax for transit projects — could be making its way to the ballot.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is contacting leaders of the various Councils of Governments in the county and the officials in the 88 cities to weigh in on what it would take for them to support a new version of the tax proposal.

Measure J was lost when it fell about 16,000 votes short of the two-thirds it needed to be approved. It would have extended the Measure R sales tax from 2039 until 2069.

Former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had been one of the main supporters of the proposal, arguing it would allow the MTA to use the additional sales-tax money to issue bonds to pay for various projects.
Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said he wants all the Council of Governments and local city officials to weigh in on specific programs they would want to see in order to support the tax. Aides to Mayor Eric Garcetti said he was studying the plans.

Garcetti is more clear about another major project: He wants to see celebrity architect Frank Gehry brought back on the Grand Avenue project.

The mayor spoke last week with Gehry, who was involved in the original plans for the development but whose contract was dropped. “I think he should stay involved, and I’ve pushed (developer) Related to keep him involved,” Garcetti said.

The Grand Avenue project, which envisions a mix of commercial and residential uses, is back in the spotlight after Related offered new conception drawings. However, the Grand Avenue authority has been unimpressed and granted a delay to Related to come up with new plans.