Local residents to vote on 3 Alameda County ballot measures this November

Dani Sundell/Senior Staff

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Measure A1: Alameda County affordable housing bond

Measure A1, if approved, would aim to ameliorate the effects of Alameda County’s affordable housing crisis by authorizing a $580 million bond to pay for rental housing, renovations and homeowner assistance.

Average asking rent in Alameda County is $2,264, and residents need an average monthly income of $7,547 to afford rent, according to the California Housing Partnership Corporation. Countywide, median rents increased by about 34 percent from 2011 to 2015.

$460 million of the bond would pay for housing creation and rehabilitation across the county, and $120 million of the bond would pay for homeownership programs. The projected cost for property owners is $12 to $14 per $100,000 of assessed property value. On average, Alameda County homeowners would likely pay $48 to $56 annually.

The bond proposal includes the establishment of an Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee, which would ensure that bond-proceed expenditure complies with the measure.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors placed the measure on the ballot.

Measure C1: Extending AC Transit parcel tax for transportation

If passed, Measure C1 would extend AC Transit’s existing $8 per month parcel tax at current levels for 20 years, raising about $30 million annually to maintain transportation services and keep fares reasonable.  

This tax would not increase over its 20-year lifetime. The revenue would go toward operation and maintenance costs, referring to “all activities necessary to provide bus services, such as equipment, supplies, fuel, facilities, and personnel,” according to the county counsel’s impartial analysis.

No official argument was submitted against the measure. An East Bay Times editorial urged residents to vote “no,” however, stating that the tax extension “lacks assurances the district will do more to pay down debt” stemming from unpaid future retirement benefits.   

The AC Transit Board of Directors placed the measure on the ballot.

Measure RR: $3.5 billion BART bond for infrastructure

A “yes” vote for Measure RR would authorize BART to issue a $3.5 billion bond to fund capital projects replacing and upgrading the system’s tracks, tunnels and train control systems.

A small portion of the bond money will also go toward addressing congestion relief and station accessibility. The bond money cannot be used for purposes other than improvements to “real property.”

Residents in the counties BART operates in would see an estimated property tax increase of about $2 per $100,000 of assessed value in 2017 to 2018 and almost $18 per $100,000 of assessed value by 2035 to 2036.

Critics of the measure argue that the BART Board of Directors has mismanaged its budget, being too lenient when it comes to keeping labor costs low. Earlier this year, the BART Board of Directors approved a four-year labor contract — with salaries set to increase 2.5 percent per year in 2017 and 2018, and 2.75 per year in 2020 and 2021 — that came after fraught October 2013 negotiations when a deal was struck after a four-day strike leaving hundreds of thousands of commuters stranded.

The BART Board of Directors unanimously placed the measure on the ballot. Official opponents include the Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy and the Libertarian Party of San Francisco.

Contact Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks and Andrea Platten at [email protected].