Thursday, October 23, 2014

Quentin Kopp: Vote No on Proposition A

Proposition A will allow City Hall and Muni to spend $525 million on whatever they want, including "improvements" to city streets, like bike lanes for the most obnoxious special interest group in the city. From SFGate:

By Quentin L. Kopp

Would you hand a signed $1.1 billion check to someone you don’t know for spending on unspecified items? Neither would I, but City Hall wants you to do so on Proposition A, a proposed general obligation bond that will cost property owners and tenants more than $500 million in interest alone.

It’s scandalous in its arrogant disregard of voters and taxpayers. It admits there is “no commitment to specific projects” in this borrowing, which with interest over 30 years of approximately $525 million will cost San Francisco taxpayers and tenants more than $1 billion to repay.

It identifies no dedicated projects for which bond proceeds will pay. It uses vague language: “a portion may be allocated to constructing improvements, such as those identified in the Transit Effectiveness Project.” What’s that?

“A portion...may be allocated to fund the city’s share of needed improvements to Caltrain’s infrastructure.” Caltrain chiefly serves Peninsula residents. It states: “A portion...may be allocated to deliver safety improvements at locations throughout the city.” What locations?

It generalizes that some bond proceeds “may be allocated to more effectively manage traffic congestion in the city.” How?

Prop. A could waste millions to cure the multimillion-dollar cost overrun on the Central Subway Project. San Franciscans battle inequality. Corporate executives and suburban techies won’t repay Prop. A debt. San Francisco residents will.

Make City Hall return with explicit projects and costs, so voters can intelligently decide, not just guess and spend.

Reject Prop. A.

Retired San Mateo Superior Court Judge Quentin L. Kopp is a former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and a former state senator.

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