Other voices: Measure T is on target | TheUnion.com

Other voices: Measure T is on target

There have been a wide range of opinions expressed in recent weeks about the quality, actual goals, and relevance to our community needs of Measure T, the Transportation Improvement Sales Tax Measure on Tuesday’s ballot.

It is interesting to note how we as a society have apparently come to accept “repeated assertion” as a substitute for facts in making our important choices in these modern times. Repeated assertion relies on a basic principle of marketing known as “repetition sells”.

It actually is a very effective method of changing public opinion and you can see its effects, both good and bad, all across the political landscape these days. It only works, however, when we allow ourselves to suspend belief and become willing to overlook factual information in being swayed by repeated assertion. A little self-discipline is all it takes to insist on factual information when making important decisions.

Any members of our community who are interested in the facts about Measure T can access a detailed summary of the expenditure plan, as well as an impartial analysis of the measure and the effects of its passage or failure to pass at the City of Grass Valley Web site: http://www.cityofgrassvalley.com. The link to Measure T is on the front page of the city Web site.

I’d like to address a few of the “myths” that have been “repeatedly asserted” in recent days to be negative aspects or consequences of Measure T.

Measure T will give developers a “free ride.” All that’s required to put this one to rest is to read the language of the formal expenditure plan … “The City, by enactment of this Sales Tax Expenditure Plan, intends the funds provided by the Special Sales Tax shall not be used to replace existing transportation and/or development impact funding or to replace requirements for new development to provide for its own development impacts.”

Measure T was hastily “thrown together with very little public input to meet the ballot deadline.” I had the distinct pleasure of working with the committee in the early days of formulating this ballot initiative, and I can attest to the professionalism, integrity and commitment to our community of the members of this committee. Measure T enjoys broad support across many elements of our community, including many of our local merchants, the Grass Valley Downtown Association, supporters of the Wolf Creek Parkway, and anyone who uses our worn and in some cases failing infrastructure to get around town.

The accountability of the Citizen Oversight Committee is to the City Council. As far as I am able to determine from an inspection of the available information and facts regarding Measure T, the selection process for this committee has yet to be established. Any criticism of the selection process or assertions that the Committee members would be beholden in some way to the wishes of the GV City Council seems premature in this case. We should simply pay attention and when the selection process is being developed, assess the facts and make our thoughts known.

Measure T is a “bailout for negative impacts caused by poorly regulated development.” Measure T was formulated to specifically address obsolescence and impending failure of certain key components of our current transportation infrastructure. These have accumulated over the years from wear and tear, the well known budgetary issues at the state level that have delayed Caltrans funding and construction of projects statewide, and the changing demographics and use patterns of our community.

The time for public input on Measure T is now and in the coming days as we approach a very important election day that will impact our community in many ways, not just in our decision regarding Measure T. The longer we wait to address these important transportation issues, the higher the cost will be.

I encourage all members of our community to get involved, talk about the issues and above all, insist on having the facts on hand as we choose a path to our future. Measure T will address well-known issues that are a regular topic of conversation and complaints with a well crafted and specifically targeted plan for much needed traffic and pedestrian transportation improvements, and has broad community support. I suppose it could be said that my repeated assertion is that Measure T is the right choice at the right time.


Paul Sieving lives in Grass Valley. He can be reached at 274-0906, by e-mail at Paul@PaulSieving.com, or visit http://www.PaulSieving.com.

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