Community Board: Roads tax needed, for essential repairs

Traffic backed up back to Bolsa Road after an accident involving five cars and a big rig closed Highway 25 in both directions in June 2015.

San Benito County’s roads, both highways and local streets, are in terrible shape. It’s most definitely worth an investment from taxpayers to support a half-cent sales tax, as proposed by the Council of San Benito County Governments, to fund more than $200 million in repairs.
COG has done a good job of putting together a sensible proposal to sell the idea to voters, who will be faced with three other tax increase proposals on 2016 ballots.
We support the roads tax and encourage voters to do the same. At the same time, we urge local leaders who may have access to such a huge chunk of taxpayer dollars to take on the responsibility of spending every last penny with the most efficiency in mind. That means COG, and other government entities involved with transit, must make a priority list of projects and stick to it.
Although COG’s staff does an excellent job, elected leaders from various agencies maintain a variety of wide-ranging agendas. So there is bound to be a tug and pull for the funds at some point, if the tax is approved.
A widely-accepted priority list, starting with highway needs and local street repairs such as potholes and worn roads, must gain attention from local government officials before other projects are undertaken such as bicycle lanes.
The Community Insight Board is an independent panel of residents. Views are consensus opinions, but not necessarily unanimous. Members include Jae Eade, Cesar Flores, Frankie Gallagher, Gordon Machado and Brenda Weatherly. Editor Kollin Kosmicki moderates the discussions and writes the op-eds.

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