Thu, Jun

Measure M and the Beneficial Domino Effect


ALPERN AT LARGE--In my last CityWatch article, I recommended a "NO" vote for just about every tax measure this November based on the fact that the new funds would be poorly spent.  The big exception, of course, is Measure M--because the money and projects are well-defined, and well-vetted by the taxpayers of LA County. 

We do NOT want to "feed the beast" of unsustainable pension/benefits of public sector officials and workers who perform vital jobs but are being reimbursed and pensioned at a level we just can't continue to fund.  After all, are California (particularly LA County) residents paying less or MORE than the rest of the nation? 

And are we getting a good "bang for our buck" with respect to what our taxes pay for? 

But the reason why the schools and "general fund" taxes and bonds should be rejected is that we don't know where the money is going, while the opposite is true for Measure M. 

Opponents of Measure M are people who, for the most part, should be listened to and worked with for years to come.  Metro's come a long way since the crazy-spending of the 1990's, and there are a lot of good reasons why Caltrans let Metro take over and/or finish local freeway projects--in short, Metro typically spends their money well, and is a model for adhering to its budget. 

A model that school districts, water districts, and other public sector/sphere jurisdictions would do well to emulate. 

But with Measure M--as with the previously-passed Measure R in 2008--there will be a domino effect of MORE money coming into LA County from Sacramento and Washington. 

LA is no longer last but among the first when it comes to federal and state eyes and wallets opening to support a county "that has its act together".  And, of course, a county willing to put its money where its mouth is. 

The "Friends of the Green Line" project that started shortly after 9/11 found that the critical LAX/Metro Rail connection now funded by Metro with a 2024 due date (LINK: ) will happen faster if Measure M passes … call it the Measure M Domino Effect: 

1) South Bay residents would want "in" to the Green Line/LAX connection 

2) Increased interest in a Norwalk Green Line/Metrolink connection would occur that might bring in dollars from both Orange and Riverside counties 

3) Westsiders and Downtowners would want better access to the LAX/Metro Rail connection as well, facilitating interest in extensions via Lincoln and Sepulveda Blvds. 

Similarly, there would be a Domino Effect for the Foothill Gold Line, which would be funded by Measure M not only to Claremont (the eastern edge of L.A. County in the Inland Empire) but to Montclair in San Bernardino County.  That brings that county on board, particularly if the line were to be advocated for extension to Ontario Airport, and/or with more Metrolink connections. 

Would there be an increased effort to connect Orange County with any Santa Ana Pacific Electric Rail Right of Way to the Southeast LA County cities and the Green Line?  Probably--the 405 freeway isn't getting any lighter with respect to traffic, and Orange County residents would certainly want a better way to access Downtown. 

So enter another Domino Effect

And the more these projects get promoted, the more that federal and state matching funds could be achieved, allowing Metro to work their way down the list to build these projects (including Metro projects in the South Bay, Southeast LA County Cities, the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys, and the like) to fulfill the needs of ALL LA County residents. 

Domino Effects are usually negative, and not desired, by taxpayers...yet it does appear that Measure M has the strong potential (and strong likelihood, based on our experience with Measure R in 2008) to create a positive and favorable Domino Effect

Hence Measure M deserves our consideration, and our vote, come this November. 

And if Measure M passes this November, any work done to expedite transportation improvements throughout the county, and/or to fine tune Metro's priorities, could begin in earnest the very next day.


(Ken Alpern is a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He is co-chair of the CD11Transportation Advisory Committee and chairs the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at  [email protected]. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Alpern.)






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