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Measure B1 just shy of success

By Tess Lengyel

Alameda CTC calls off recount. Despite receiving 66.53% of the vote, Measure B1 did not meet threshold for passage.

The Alameda County Transportation Commission (CTC) informed the Alameda County Registrar of Voters on December 4, 2012 that it accepts the certified election outcome. Measure B1, which would have brought almost $8 billion in transportation investments into the County, did not meet the threshold necessary to pass, despite receiving 66.53 percent of the vote. The required threshold to pass is 66.67 percent and Measure B1 was just 0.14 percent below this.

Due to the high voter support for Measure B1 and almost reaching the two-thirds requirement to pass, Alameda CTC launched a recount. The recount began the morning of Tuesday, December 4, 2012. By close of business that day, the Registrar's office had recounted 28,000 votes and had only tallied an additional seven “yes” votes for Measure B1. Based on this outcome, it became clear that continuing the recount would not yield the almost 750 yes votes necessary to meet the minimum 66.67 percent for passage and, therefore, Alameda CTC ended the recount.

"I am confident the decision to request a recount was the right one, as was our decision to discontinue it," said Alameda CTC Executive Director Arthur Dao. "Our Commission feels that performing due diligence was our obligation with a vote this close and a transportation plan worth $8 billion in local investment and thousands of job opportunities. I'm proud that Alameda CTC is known to be an excellent steward of public funds and this prudent use of funds is no different. The recount cost less than $8,000."

"We should all be proud of our County Registrar, Dave Macdonald, and his staff, who are diligent, meticulous, professional and dedicated public servants." said Tess Lengyel, an Alameda CTC Deputy Director overseeing the recount effort on Tuesday.

Despite the loss of Measure B1 this November, the Alameda CTC will continue its commitment to improving transportation in Alameda County, providing the highest level of service and the best value for public funds, as it continues to plan, fund and deliver transportation systems that expand access and improve mobility in Alameda County. Alameda CTC will use the current Measure B funds until they sunset in 2022, continuing to implement important projects and programs throughout the County.

By placing Measure B1 on the ballot, Alameda CTC was responding to the need to continue its work improving mobility and quality of life in Alameda County by best using resources that exist and developing new funding solutions for transportation. Alameda CTC has already leveraged $756M of current Measure B funds into $3.8 billion in capital improvements in Alameda County, including rail extensions (BART to Warm Springs), highway improvements (I-80 Integrated Corridor Mobility project, I-680 Express Lanes, new HOV lanes on I-880 and I-580), local streets and roads enhancements, intermodal projects and many others. These investments have pumped $495M back into our local businesses in Alameda County in the past decade alone, creating nearly 5,100 jobs per year. Many of these projects are in construction now, and the benefits of these local sales tax investments will have lasting positive impacts in Alameda County for years to come.

"A clear majority of Alameda County demonstrated their support for Measure B1 - a transportation plan that supports forward-thinking solutions, economic vitality, environmental sustainability and a true multi-modal approach," said Alameda CTC Chair Mayor Mark Green. "These numbers show the urgent need to lower the voter approval threshold for special taxes in California."

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